A powerful typhoon is speeding towards the islands of southern Japan, carrying dangerous winds, as meteorological authorities warn of a “major disaster” in the region.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned on Monday that Typhoon Maysak could cause storm surge, heavy rains, heavy waves and high winds, potentially causing a “major disaster” in the Okinawa region.
The agency also called on residents to “evacuate to solid buildings before the winds get stronger.”
Maysak is expected to gain strength, with maximum winds of 252 km / h (156.6 mph) as it nears the island late at night, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said on Sunday. in a press release.
A total of 180 flights to and from the Okinawa region have already been canceled and many schools and public offices were closed as of Monday afternoon, the Okinawa Times newspaper reported.
At 5:00 p.m. local time (08:00 GMT), the Eye of the Storm was about 190 km (118 miles) south of Naha, the capital of Okinawa, traveling north-northwest at 35 km / h ( 21.7 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 144 km / h (89.6 mph) and gusts of 216 km / h (134.2 mph), the agency said.
Forecasters have warned of flooding, landslides and swollen rivers as the storm is expected to trigger up to 80 millimeters of rain per hour over parts of Okinawa Island.
The agency forecast rainfall of up to 400 millimeters for Okinawa and up to 150 millimeters for the Amami Island region by Tuesday evening.
In 2019, Japan was struck by the most powerful typhoons hitting the country in six decades has killed up to 36 people.
Typhoon Hagibis left the capital, Tokyo, relatively unscathed, but caused severe damage to surrounding areas as rivers overflowed and torrential rains triggered landslides.