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Weakened Typhoon Halong passes Okinawa Sunday

Date Posted: 2002-07-20

Okinawa had prepared for a direct hit from Super Typhoon Halong, Sunday, but the expected fury of the nature pretty much failed to materialize. The island experienced the strongest winds between 2 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday. The strongest winds recorded in Okinawa were 46.4 m/s Sunday evening.

According to local press reports 45,500 households were left without power, and over 40,000 tourists were either forced to cancel their trip to Okinawa or were stranded here. Several airlines arranged extra flights for Monday to take travelers home as the storm passed.

Okinawa police said three women were slightly injured by the typhoon. A 25-year-old woman in Kokuba, Naha City suffered a fractured skull when an aluminum door hit her head. Flying strip of wood injured a 74-year-old woman’s elbow in Yonabaru, and a 53-year-old woman in Nakagusuku was hospitalized after a door slammed against her and she fell and hit her head.

The typhoon also brought much needed rain filling prefecture’s dams to 77.6 percent of capacity. Unlike previous typhoons, Halong dumped its heaviest rainfall on the northern parts of the island where most of the dams are located.

Some small flash floods were reported in Nago and Okinawa cities where the water rose above the floor level of ten houses. The floods also cut off a road in two locations, and a 150-year-old banyan tree fell in Sashiki Town crushing two cars. In Kunigami Village two elderly women and two Italian tourists sought shelter in the village’s community center.

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