Weakened Typhoon Nabi makes landfall on Kyushu
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Base personnel hunkered down indoors and the main base clamped shut Tuesday as officials anticipated a wallop from Typhoon Nabi on Tuesday evening.
Nabi weakened as it made landfall on Kyushu about 6 p.m., but it still brought sustained winds of 92 mph with gusts up to 115 mph at its strongest point — which wasn’t what passed Sasebo.
The Sasebo’s Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Detachment announced Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Recovery at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday with the storm continuing on a north- northeast path at 21 mph.
Sasebo officials implemented TCCOR 1 (Caution) for the southwestern Kyushu installation early Tuesday morning, meaning only emergency response personnel were allowed to enter or move about the base. About 275 miles northeast of Sasebo, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni on southwestern Honshu entered TCCOR 1 (Caution) at noon.
By mid-afternoon, Sasebo experienced winds of 35 mph and gusts up to 50 mph from the typhoon’s outer bands. The storm’s closest point of approach was 38 miles to the west at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Sasebo and Iwakuni closed Tuesday.
“There are no reports of any significant damage on the main base or at Hario Housing Village,” Sasebo spokesman Charles T. Howard said late Tuesday afternoon.
Emergency shelters were opened Monday night at the Navy Lodge, bachelor housing facilities and the Fleet Gym, he said. The crew of the USS Essex moved into the gym from a berthing barge they were using while the amphibious assault ship undergoes maintenance and upgrades.
But the move from one temporary home to another wasn’t so bad, said Chief Petty Officer Raul Boduc from the Essex.
“There’re all kinds of video games, televisions and computers available on the second deck in the (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Liberty single sailor center,” he said. “We’ve got guys working out with weights, playing basketball, using the treadmills, you name it.”
The Essex remained in India Basin “with several tugs alongside to keep it secure,” Howard said. “We expect a normal day tomorrow (Wednesday) for an open base with all schools in regular session.”
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that the center of a weakened Nabi passed Iwakuni 63 miles west of the base between 9 p.m. and midnight Tuesday packing sustained winds of 86 mph with gusts up to 104 mph. Wind velocity on the air station was forecast to be much less intense.
All DODDS schools and Marine Corps Community Services operations at Iwakuni were closed Tuesday. Schools were to be closed Wednesday as well, Coakley said, and MCCS operations were not to open until TCCOR-All Clear is announced.
In South Korea, Nabi’s rain and strong winds were forecast to be felt to a lesser extent in Daegu, Busan, Jeju and Seoul. It was forecast to come no closer than 300 miles east of Osan Air Base, according to the JTWC outlook.
Dave Ornauer on Okinawa contributed to this report.