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. TACO JOE

    Is it bringing tacos ? Tacos are good in stormy weather.

    May 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Common Sense

    Wow what a year 2011 is shaping up to be!

    May 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Game Over

    Has anyone else noticed that since after '98 weather has been getting much worse?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • TRouble

      I noticed it's getting warmer and warmer since the last ice age....

      May 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OMG!

    One word – +FUKUSHIMA+ %o!!

    May 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • One safe Okinawa resident

      Fukushima is in Mainland not on the island of Okinawa......

      May 29, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. kim

    We have seen alot of extreme weather it is something its also one of the biggest killers of man its just little you can do except run or hunker down and see how you fair its very humbling when the weather turns nasty. Prays do work.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ConernedNetizen

      Everyone knows the largest killer of man is terrorism, not weather.. Didn't you read George W. Bush's book? Even Obama seems to agree..

      May 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Levi

    What, no end of the world comments?! You guys must be the intelligent group.

    May 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. drap

    Will this affect my friday night sushi night... .?

    May 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. tentative

    There's two main opinions as to what may be causing the extreme weather:

    1. Global warming (Due to humans or not, though the evidence seems overwhelming for humans to have caused the extreme results we're seeing. Don't just listen to media and third-hand knowledge, read up about it yourself.)
    2. God's discovered burritos

    Either way, we need to deal with it. We can ask all the Muslims, Christians and Jews to beg god to stop eating burritos as we transition to using renewable energy, otherwise we've only got a handful of generations left.

    May 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Harold Camping

    The world will end soon. There are just too much people on earth so God has to clean house and one way is by weather.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Reggie

    Quakes, a tsunami, nuke meltdowns, and now it's a freaking typhoon?

    May 27, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • One safe Okinawa resident

      its the beginning of typhoon season here

      May 29, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anthony

    Mark 13:5-9

    May 27, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. AGuest9

    “Prayers do work!”??? Wow. In the 21st Century... Wow...
    Still believe in human sacrifices, too?

    May 27, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. (required)

    Don't know how much more Japan can take....

    May 27, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. One safe Okinawa resident

    Everyone in Okinawa is safe, there was quite some damage left behind but from the looks of it its not too bad!

    May 29, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Arlene

    Prayers do work! And according to meterologists it is indeed the commencement of typhoon season!

    May 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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