Typhoon Jelawat messes up weekend events.
Second super typhoon in two weeks, and the third to hit Okinawa in a month is currently just south of the island and still nearing, but already it has messed up practically all events planned for this weekend.
The third time was not a charm for Henoko Tug-of-War organizers who ended up canceling their weekend event for the third time because of a typhoon. First it was typhoon Bolawen that made organizers to cancel their end of summer event scheduled for Aug 25~26. They promptly re-scheduled it for two weeks later for Sep 15~16, but typhoon Sanba decided otherwise. They postponed again by two weeks to this weekend but the same happened again. This time it was spoiled by typhoon Jelawat
Undaunted, organizers are saying that Oct 14~15 will be the next try. Yasumasa Oshiro, the Henoko Community chief said “Summer does not end for us without our tug-of-war, so we must have the event no matter how many times we have to reschedule it.”
Officials at Okinawa Meteorological Observatory say that while Okinawa frequently experiences strong typhoons, it is quite rare to have three this strong in a span of a month.
In other news, according to Okinawa Electric Power Co. 13,000 households were without power in Yaeyama, Miyako and Okinawa main island so far.
In Nago 4,122 families were advised to take refuge in community halls and schools on higher ground because of a possibility of floods.
In Naha City, a truck turned over at 7.45 this morning on Hwy 58 in Maejima because of high winds that were recorded at 43.8 m/s at the time.
Bus, monorail, bridges and Okinawa Expressway all closed on Friday at 10 p.m. All flights to and from Okinawa were also halted leaving 4,800 travelers waiting at the airport trying to get their tickets rescheduled. The number is expected to swell to well over 30,000 by the time Jelawat is gone.
But not all event organizers are giving up. Organizers of the annual Itoman tug-of-war insist that their event is on for Sunday rain or shine, as they believe Jelawat has left the island by then.