Powerful typhoon bound for Okinawa

Kyodo News

A large and very powerful Pacific typhoon was bearing down Thursday on Okinawa and remote islands south of Kyushu, the Meteorological Agency said, warning against heavy rain in wide areas of southwestern Japan.

The season’s fourth typhoon, Man-yi, is expected to hit Okinawa on Friday and may approach western Japan on Saturday.

The rain system activated by the typhoon caused thundershowers in the Kansai and Tokai regions Thursday.

In Tokyo, the government set up a liaison office in preparation for possible typhoon-linked disasters, government officials said.

As of 9 p.m. Thursday, the typhoon was some 300 km south of Naha, Okinawa’s capital, moving north-northwest at a speed of 90 kph, packing winds of 180 kph near its center and gusts of up to 252 kph.

It had an atmospheric pressure of 930 hectopascals at the center.

It is expected to come within a radius of 190 km from a point 200 km west-southwest of Amami, Kagoshima Prefecture, at 9 p.m. Friday, and a radius of 300 km from a point 80 km southwest of Cape Ashizuri, Kochi Prefecture, as of 9 p.m. Saturday.

Seas off Okinawa and the Amami islands and off Kyushu will see waves of 6 to 9 meters, the agency said.

Okinawa’s main island is bracing for severe downpours.