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Island's Weather Gear Blown Out by Typhoon

September 01, 2006|From the Associated Press

HONOLULU — Typhoon Ioke knocked out Wake Island's weather sensors Thursday as it lashed the isle with some of the central Pacific's fiercest winds in more than a decade, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters monitoring the 2.5-square-mile atoll's wind and temperature gauges from Hawaii said the instruments blew out as the storm approached with winds up to 155 mph and gusts up to 190 mph.

The Air Force evacuated all of the roughly 200 island residents Monday before the "super typhoon" neared.

Only troops, Defense Department civilian employees and military contractors live on the remote island.

The storm was heading northwest toward Japan and is expected to weaken in the coming days.

Ioke is the first Category 5 hurricane to develop in the central Pacific since record keeping began in the early 1960s, and it is the most powerful storm to pass through the region since hurricanes Emilia and Gilma, both in July 1994.

Wake Island is a U.S. military refueling and research station about 2,300 miles west of Honolulu and 1,500 miles east of Guam.

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