One Dead as Typhoon Batters Okinawa

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, July 08, 2014

One man died, more than 500,000 people were urged to evacuate and hundreds of flights were cancelled in Japan as a strong typhoon brought torrential rain and high winds to its southwestern islands and could bring heavy rain to Tokyo later this week.

Typhoon Neoguri weakened from its original status as a super typhoon but remained intense, with gusts of more than 250 km per hour (155 mph). It was powering through the Okinawa island chain where emergency rain and high-seas warnings were in effect.

The storm was at its most powerful when passing Okinawa, some 1,600 km (1,000 miles) southwest of Tokyo on Tuesday, but the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned of heavy rains and potential flooding in Kyushu, the westernmost of Japan's main islands, as well as heavy rain in the rest of the nation as the storm turns east later in the week.

"People must take the utmost caution," Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of disaster management, told a news conference.

One man died after his boat was swamped by high waves, NHK national television said. Several people suffered minor injuries from falls.

More than 50,000 households in Okinawa lost power and an oil refinery halted operations. Television footage showed a collapsed roof of a shopping arcade, street lights rocking in high winds and branches being blown down largely deserted streets.

There are no nuclear plants on Okinawa, but there are two on Kyushu, which lies in the area through which the typhoon is likely to pass after hitting Okinawa. There is another on Shikoku island, which borders Kyushu and could also be affected.

All are shut down due to national policy and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, is on the other side of the country.

"When the wind blows most strongly, it's impossible to stand. You have to hold on to something," said Kei Shima, a self-employed Okinawa resident in her 30s. "The lights are fading in and out, like the house is haunted. The rain is getting stronger and falling sideways."

Neoguri was roughly 110 km (68 miles) west of Kumejima of island at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT) and moving north at 30 kph (19 mph), with sustained winds of 162 kph (100 mph).

Kadena Air Base, one of the largest U.S. military facilities on Okinawa, was at its highest level of storm alert and all outside activity was prohibited.

Nansei Sekiyu KK, a Japanese refiner wholly owned by Brazil's Petrobras, said it had suspended oil refining operations at its 100,000 barrels-per-day Nishihara refinery in Okinawa on Monday evening.

A JMA official said the storm will maintain its strength as it heads north but gradually turn to the east, making landfall in Kyushu before raking its way up the main island of Honshu and coming close to Tokyo on Friday.

"But it will be weaker by then, so that Tokyo can mainly expect a lot of rain, and maybe some gusts of wind," he added.

Around two to four typhoons make landfall in Japan each year but they are unusual in July.

 

By Elaine Lies

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Port Metro Vancouver Approves $15m Coal Transfer Project

Port Metro Vancouver, Canada's largest port, said on Thursday it has approved a new facility to transfer coal from trains onto barges at Fraser Surrey Docks, a

Evergreen Line Makes Maiden Call to Boston

Evergreen Line’s ItalLunare celebrated its maiden call to the Port of Boston with an official first call and plaque presentation on Wednesday, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced.

Second Tanker Waits to Load Oil at Libya's Reopened Port

A second tanker is waiting to load oil at Libya's Es Sider port, state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Thursday, as the country's biggest crude export terminal

News

Banking on US Shale Gas Boom, Asia Petrochemical Firms Switch to LPG

Asia petrochemicals firms are building tanks and retooling plants to store and process liquefied petroleum gas imported from the United States, counting on a flood

Danos Fabrication Facility Creates 150 Jobs

Danos, a family owned oil and gas service company, announced plans to expand its fabrication capabilities, by opening a 120,000 square-foot fabrication facility in Amelia, La.

US’ Largest Floating Drydock Heads to Portland

The country’s largest floating drydock, the Vigorous, is headed for Portland this weekend. The drydock, a piece of equipment used to lift vessels as large as cruise ships out of the water,

Coast Guard

Injured Crewman Medevaced from S.Korean Icebreaker

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter medevaced a crewmember suffering from a head injury from the South Korean research icebreaker Araon 250 miles north of Barrow, Wednesday.

Ecuador Coastguard Orders Damen Patrol Boats

Damen announced it has recently signed a contract with AstillerosNavalesEcuatorianos (Astinave) to construct two Damen Stan Patrols (Spa) 5009 for the Ecuadorian Coastguard.

MN 100: Brunswick Commercial and Government Products

420 Megan Z. Ave Edgewater, FL 32132 Telephone: 386 423 2934 E-mail: kelsey.nemeth@whaler.com Website: www.brunswickcgp.com CEO/President: Huw Bower Number

Maritime Safety

Injured Crewman Medevaced from S.Korean Icebreaker

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter medevaced a crewmember suffering from a head injury from the South Korean research icebreaker Araon 250 miles north of Barrow, Wednesday.

Video: On-water Helicopter Rescue Demo

A King County Sheriff's Helicopter performed a rescue demonstration using a new rescue platform before a group of attendees at this year's Maritime Security West Conference in Tacoma, Wash.

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Government Update

Mozambique: $30b Invested for 2018 LNG Export

More than $30 billion will be invested initially in Mozambique's natural gas sector to build capacity to produce 20 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG),

Cuba Struggles to Attract Investors Despite Reforms

Cuba has yet to attract new foreign investors despite launching two major initiatives in the past year, a sign of the lingering caution over doing business with

Revision Proposed for Fishing Vessel Cargo Regs

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) proposed revisions to its regulations for commercial fishing vessels carrying flammable or combustible liquid cargos in bulk. The

Insurance

Swedish Club Results Show Improvement

The Swedish Club today announced its half-year results in which it reported that the club continued to demonstrate a solid performance in the first six months of

'Double Jeopardy – Trial by Media, Trial by Law' London Opening

BIMCO notes that the highly acclaimed "Double Jeopardy - trial by media, trial by law" first showcased at the BIMCO AGM in Dubai earlier this year is to be brought

HK's COSCO International Reports Strong Profit Growth

For the  six months ended 30th June 2014, shipping services provider COSCO International has announced that its 2014 Interim Results show strong profit growth with Net Profit up 45% YOY.

P&I Clubs

Swedish Club Results Show Improvement

The Swedish Club today announced its half-year results in which it reported that the club continued to demonstrate a solid performance in the first six months of

American Club Issues Steel Cargo Warning

The American P&I Club has updated its advice to members on the handling of steel cargoes. It has done so in consequence of some recent cases where the absence of

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1809 sec (6 req/sec)