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Typhoon Approaching Okinawa and Kyushu

In the summer of 1987 I was temporarily assigned to Kadena AB, Okinawa from my duty station at Misawa AB, Japan. During that summer a major typhoon hit the island of Okinawa. I will never forget the fury that nature can hurl at a city in the form of a typhoon. The service men and women were locked into dormitory style barracks with lots of food and drink; the planes all flew away to safety elsewhere; those of us off base or in contract quarters had more liberty to move around, but were warned very strictly to take shelter and we did – coming out only during a lull in the storm. The hotel we stayed at lost power, and the owner negotiated with the building across the street to run a long heavy-duty power cable across the street to get some power to the lobby (mostly for the fridge and some fans). The damage was awe-inspiring to review in the days that followed and the people of Kadena and Okinawa recovered and rebuilt. The news that Okinawa is in the path of a much larger storm is sad; and I hope the wonderful people there weather this coming monster storm as well as they did the one I witnessed first hand.

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