Super Typhoon Neoguri Hits Okinawa

? Super Typhoon Neoguri slammed into Okinawa early Tuesday with winds forecasted at over 150 miles per hour, prompting Kadena AB, Japan, officials to evacuate large aircraft and declare a Readiness 3 Tropical Cyclone Condition prior to its arrival. Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col Jeff Pool said USAF, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft were temporarily moved from the island to Guam, as well as other airfields in Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. The movements included C-130s, KC-135s, and Navy P-3 and P-8s. Other aircraft not evacuated were sheltered in protected hangars, Pool noted. Brig. Gen. James Hecker, 18th Wing commander, initiated evacuation of aircraft and cautioned airmen to prepare their homes and property for storm impacts by securing outdoor items, filling gas tanks, and clearing debris near buildings and drains, according to a July 6 release. “This is the most powerful typhoon forecast to hit the island in 15 years,” Hecker said. Upon impact, Kadena officials reported 63-knot sustained winds with 97-knot gusts on the mainland. As of early morning Wednesday on Okinawa, Kadena was still in recovery condition with only emergency and assessment crews authorized for movement on the base. At the time, the storm had moved on to the Northwest of the island and was heading for mainland Japan.