Super typhoon churns through Pacific, threatens Okinawa
Super Typhoon Songda, or Chedeng, is shown off the Philippines in this Thursday satellite image.
May 26th, 2011
12:12 PM ET

Super typhoon churns through Pacific, threatens Okinawa

Super Typhoon Songda ripped across the western Pacific on Thursday, dropping heavy rain on the Philippines and threatening Okinawa and the Japanese main islands with rain and damaging winds into the weekend.

Songda was a Category 5 storm late Thursday, with maximum sustained winds of 161 mph and gusts of 195 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The storm was producing wave heights of 38 feet in the Pacific, forecasters said.

The forecast track for Songda put it over Okinawa on Saturday night as a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 109 mph and gusts up 132 mph.

Okinawa is home to several U.S. military installations, including Kadena Air Base, home to nearly 18,000 Americans, and Camp Courtney, home of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and its 16,000 Marines, according to U.S. Forces Japan.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Songda would lose strength but still be a strong storm as it approaches the country's main islands Sunday.

A dip in the jet stream was forecast to weaken Songda and push it toward the northeast and away from Taiwan and China, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

Meanwhile, officials in the Philippines breathed a sigh of relief after being spared a direct hit from Songda, named Chedeng in the Philippines.

“Prayers do work!” was the first sentence of a press release from the Philippine Information Agency.

Philippine officials had ordered the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from coastal areas or areas prone to landslides in heavy rainfall, but the information agency said most of those orders would soon be lifted. A ban on all activity in the Pacific remained, it said.

The Philippines would not be spared wet weather, however. Robert S. Sawi of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the typhoon would help usher in the rainy season, with heavy rains expected through the weekend, according to the Philippines News Agency.

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Filed under: Japan • Philippines • Weather
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. sue

    I have a daughter in okinawa in the marines we will be praying for her when this typhoon hits we love you chelsea love ma, pops,sammee,justin mikey and snooze

    July 17, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • anna

      my son is a marine there i have him on skype they are all ok right now they have them in gear in the bunkers

      August 4, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie Mesaros

      Is your daughter still over there. I was in a typhoon when I was 7 months pregnant. They take these storms very seriously.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kristel mae

    i like to know that what are the preparations rules if the super typhoon songda will come......................................??????????????

    July 18, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Kristel mae

    what are the preparations and rules to the coming typhoon ?

    July 18, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      If you email me, I can give you a power point of being prepared that I received from my FRO. Or ask your FRO.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sylvia

    I also have a daughter, three grandchildren & my son-in-law who is in the army stationed in Okinawa as well. I will be praying for my family and the entire island of Okinawa.

    August 3, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julie Mesaros

      We were on Okinawa, back in 83-85. We had our son at a Navel Hospital, on Oct.4, 1084. I just found out they built a new hospital. We lived by the seawall, our apartment was off base. I wonder if that green 3 story apartment is still there. They have typhoon parties. I was 7 months pregnant when one hit and my husband was on a try. He was stationed at Kadena. The locals were so nice to us. I hope they enjoy his tour. The 13 hour flight was the longest I had ever flown on. In fact that was my first time on an airplane. Take care.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
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