Super Typhoon Songda ripped across the western Pacific on Thursday, dropping heavy rain on the Philippines and threatening Okinawa and the Japanese main islands with rain and damaging winds into the weekend.
Songda was a Category 5 storm late Thursday, with maximum sustained winds of 161 mph and gusts of 195 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The storm was producing wave heights of 38 feet in the Pacific, forecasters said.
The forecast track for Songda put it over Okinawa on Saturday night as a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 109 mph and gusts up 132 mph. [...]
The typhoon may pass over the main island of Honshu, including Fukushima prefecture where Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled nuclear plant is located, according to the forecast. The storm is expected to weaken before reaching Japan.
Engineers at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station are trying to cool reactors and stop radiation leaks after the plant was hit by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.