Okinawa rides out Typhoon Jelawat

Sept. 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM

TOKYO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A major typhoon crashed into Okinawa Saturday with winds that gusted as high as 180 mph, U.S. Air Force officials said.

Typhoon Jelawat was comparable to a Category 3 hurricane and was on a beeline to strike the Japanese mainland this weekend, CNN reported.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency said Jelawat's top sustained winds were about 100 mph Saturday. The storm was expected to lose some strength as it headed north into colder waters.

Okinawans and U.S. troops based on the island rode out the storm. Buildings on Okinawa are built to withstand frequent gales, which was limiting damage.

Nevertheless, folks on the island told CNN there was some damage, including overturned vehicles.

"The winds are screaming through the streets," storm chaser James Reynolds told CNN.

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