Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Passing of Typhoon Muifa

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Those of you who follow my Okinawan blog know that we have been dealing with a fairly serious typhoon here on Okinawa since about midday Thursday.  It is now late Saturday and  Typhoon Muifa has finally blown on out to sea.

I have weathered several typhoons since coming to this island a little over a year ago - and one big one back in the early 1970's - but this was by far the worst.  The winds last night were furious and unrelenting - all night long.  Miraculously I can see no damage, though I have yet to stroll beyond my apartment's parking lot.  I live on the sixth floor of an eight-story building and cannot see anything out of the ordinary that appears to be related to the two-day massive storm.  The island's big Ferris wheel is still standing.

Okinawans (and Japanese and Koreans and everyone else who has helped to rebuild this island since it was totally decimated in World War II) are smart people.  The major buildings and most homes have been specifically built to handle whatever nature throws their way.  Solid building construction is a key element in the island's growth and development.  Not surprisingly, I have not encountered one mobile home on the entire island and doubt that they are permitted by the local building codes.

(Note to my friends in McDonald County, Missouri:  Yes, there are some places that have regulations called building codes which tell property owners what they can and cannot build, and list specifications for building requirements.  The result is generally a cleaner and safer environment and much higher property values.  The downside, of course, is that people who live in places with building codes generally can't keep their old cars on blocks in their yards to provide shade for the copperheads.)

Meanwhile, back on Okinawa the wind is still blowing, though not as ferociously, some rain is still hanging around, and people are beginning to step out of the safety of their homes and get back to the business of living.

All is well.

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