The island of Okinawa is located in what is called "Typhoon Alley." Kadena Air Base, perhaps more than any other base, needs to treat these natural storms as a part of the scheduled daily mission. Funding is put aside for the expected damage and plans are in place for the rapid evacuation of the weapon systems. The list below provides a retrospective of some of the major typhoons to hit the island of Okinawa and had adverse effects on the mission of the 18th Wing.
"Louise" (October 1945)
Highest sustaining winds of 80 knots. Reports of waves reaching 30 to 35 feet in height. 12 ships and watercraft sunk, 222 grounded, and 32 were heavily damaged. 60 planes received damage as well. Casualties include 36 dead, 47 missing, and 100 injured. Approximately 80% of housing and buildings was destroyed.
"Charlotte" (October 1959)
Highest sustained winds of 55 knots gusting to 79 knots. The resulting landslides caused by the rains killed 46 and injured 24 Okinawans.
"Emma" (November 1959)
Total damage incurred from Emma to Kadena AB totaled $219,286.50. The highest sustained winds of 100 knot gusted to 135 knots and dumped 50.87 inches of rain on Kadena AB. Responsible for four fatalities: one Army policeman (electrocution) and three Okinawans.
"Alia" (September 1966)
Damaged over 2,500 structures on Okinawa. Highest sustaining winds of 147.7 knots. First typhoon to hit the island since 1961.
"Vera" (August 1986)
Total damage incurred $320,500. Winds gusting to 84 knots. Vera was the strongest typhoon to hit Okinawa since 1969.
"Dinah" (September 1987)
Total damage incurred $378,000. Sustaining winds of 93 knots. Dumped 10.77 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.
"Kinna" (September 1991)
Total damage incurred near $1 million. Sustaining winds of 107.7 knots. Caused the deaths of three local citizens and dropped a total of 8.1 inches of rain.
"Winnie" (August 1997)
Total damage incurred $5.8 million. Sustaining winds of 81.6 knots.
"Bart" (October 1999)
Total damage incurred $5.7 million. Sustaining winds of 126 knots.
"May-Li" (July 2007)
Sustaining winds reaching about 109 knots. Total of almost 15 inches of rain fell. 108,000 homes lost power. 39-foot waves were recorded. 23 were injured but no deaths occurred during the storm.
"Kompasu" (August 2010)
Winds gusting up to 116 knots. Caused power outages in 32,400 homes. Seven were injured but there were no deaths. Approximately 25,000 were stranded at Naha International Airport. Kompasu was the first typhoon to strike Okinawa since July 2007.
"Muifa" (July 2011)
Sustaining winds of about 65 knots gusting to 78 knots. A total of 41 inches of rain fell. 37 people were injured with six of them in critical condition. Flight cancellations left 13,630 people stranded in airports.