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article image170 mph super typhoon heading toward South Korea & Okinawa

By Nancy Houser     Sep 14, 2012 in Environment
United States military personnel and locals are anxiously awaiting a 170 mph "super typhoon" bearing toward South Korea and Okinawa Island.
Given the name Sanba, the super typhoon is equal to a Category 5 hurricane. According to NBCNewsWorld, storms west of the international dateline in the Northwest Pacific Ocean are referred to as typhoons, not hurricanes.
"The center will pass close to Okinawa this weekend and then Sanba, in a less-intense but still potent state, is expected to reach South Korea Sunday night or Monday," weather.com reported.
Fortunately, some weakening is expected due to an “increasingly hostile upper level environment” says the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Washington Post.
The U.S. military commissaries are packing food and emergency supplies before Sanba hits in Okinawa. According to BBC, the Japanese government is facing increased pressure - particularly in Okinawa - over the US military footprint, putting it in a difficult position with its key ally.
Weather.com reports that the cold front that just came across the U.S. has stalled out, located from the western Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. Occurring during hurricane season, this can sometimes lead to tropical cyclones.
The Stars and Stripes Pacific Storm Tracker blog - which provides typhoon updates for Okinawa - is sounding the alarm. It urged residents to get ready, likening the storm to super typhoon Bart, which battered the island in 1999, according to Washington Post.
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