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Meandering typhoon stalls; Kills two and injures one

Date Posted: 2004-10-01

Typhoon Meari became the second September storm to wander the Western Pacific this past week, aimlessly shifting course before smacking Okinawa on Sunday, killing one person.

A last minute change in direction spared Okinawa’s main island from the heaviest winds, but a newspaper deliveryman, Ushi Miiji, 88, died early Sunday bleeding from the head in front of his garage in Gushikami. Police say it appears strong winds knocked him over, killing him.

Two other elderly people, one in Urasoe and one in Ginowan, sustained injuries as the storm caused them to fall in the strong winds, breaking arms and legs.

The strong typhoon continued moving west-northwest around 110 km north of Miyako Island, then stalled and dumped rain before turning back to the northeast and mainland Japan, battering Kume Island a second time.

As with Typhoon Songda, Meari caused the Naha Airport to close, forcing cancellation of 244 domestic flights from Naha, impacting 45,000 passengers. Ferry services to Kagoshima and outlying areas were cancelled, and buses and the Naha monorail system were shut down. Typhoon Meari, the 21st of the season, packed winds in excess of 81 miles an hour in Naha (35.6 m/s). Kadena and most of the central areas registered winds gusting to 70mph.

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