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Typhoon Muifa packs Cat. III wallop

Date Posted: 2011-08-04

Muifa’s only hours away from visiting Okinawa, but as a typhoon instead of a super typhoon.

Typhoon Muifa, with a very clearly defined eye and a diameter of more than 200 miles, will begin its approach to Okinawa this afternoon as it tracks toward a weekend rendezvous just east of mainland China’s Shanghai area. Muifa is now forecast to pass 25 nautical miles south-southwest of Kadena Air Base, meaning it will cross southern Okinawa just south of Naha and Itoman Cities.

Sustained winds of 50 knots or greater will plague Okinawa through Saturday morning, while the worst will begin early Friday. Winds are expected to be in the 110~130 knots [126-130mph/203-240kph/56-66m/s] range as it makes landfall in the early hours of Friday, with the strongest winds forecast for the 9 a.m. ~ 3 p.m. timeframe. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center and Kadena Weather predict Okinawa will receive 4~6” of rainfall by Sunday afternoon.

Super Typhoon Muifa ran amuck through the Philippines as a Category 5 storm, killing two people in a landslide and another two in a boat accident. Muifa, also known by its Philippines name Kebayan, formed July 23rd off the Island of Chuuk near Guam. Muifa’s havoc in the Philippines came only a couple days after Typhoon Nock-Ten rolled through, killing 57 people.

Typhoon Muifa has caused cancellation or postponement of many events and festivals across Okinawa. The Futenma Flightline Fair scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. Those planning to attend the Naha 10,000 Eisa Festival scheduled for the weekend should check, as organizers are waiting until Friday to make a decision on whether to move the event to August 28th. Organizers of the Ginowan Hagoromo Festival will make the decision today whether the festival will go on as scheduled, shortened to Sunday only, or moved to a new date next month.

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