Honshu could be hit by Saturday afternoon A powerful typhoon is heading northward and will likely hit Honshu early Saturday after lashing the quake-rattled Izu Islands chain with heavy rain and strong winds, the Meteorological Agency said Friday.

The typhoon may also hit eastern, central and northeastern regions of Japan.

If the typhoon hits the Kanto region, it would be the first in the area since one struck in August 1989, the agency said.

It was packing winds of 126 kph at its center and had 965 hectopascals in atmospheric pressure.

The typhoon was expected to bring 200 mm to 300 mm of rain to the Izu Islands on Friday along with winds of up to 108 kph and 10-meter swells.

Up to 250 mm of rain is expected for the Pacific coast side of eastern Japan.

A total of 853 residents in the village of Kozushima on Kozu Island were evacuated to a local high school Friday, village officials said.

They said the municipal government ordered the residents from the village’s 12 districts to temporarily move because of a fear that the season’s third typhoon would trigger heavy downpours and cause landslides in the quake-hit area.

Tokyo metropolitan and village officials visited the landslide areas Friday morning to cover them with plastic sheets and stack sand bags as temporary measures in the event of heavy rains.

At 6 p.m. Friday, the typhoon was moving north-northeast at 35 kph and was located 410 km south-southwest of Hachijo Island.

On Kozu Island, the elementary and junior high schools were closed for the day, while Kozu High School canceled all classes at 10 a.m.

The metropolitan government’s port bureau officials said repairs had been completed on the island’s runway, which had been damaged by a recent spate of earthquakes.

The airport resumed operations at 7 a.m. Friday, but it was soon closed due to cancellations of the day’s two flights between the island and Chofu Airport in western Tokyo.

Meanwhile, strong quakes jolted the Izu Islands early Friday as seismic activity continued in the area following a powerful quake that hit Kozu Island and left a man dead Saturday, the Meteorological Agency said.

The agency said the quakes occurred at 12:48 a.m., 3:31 a.m., 3:59 a.m. and 4:15 a.m. and registered a magnitude of between 4.6 and 5.

They measured 4 on the Japanese intensity scale of 7 on Kozu Island and 3 in the nearby islands of Niijima and Miyake, agency officials said, adding there were moderate earthquakes in between.

Seismologists predicted that moderate to fairly strong quakes will continue to rattle the region with magnitudes of between 4 and 5 will continue to rattle the region in the days ahead.

Last Saturday, a quake measuring lower 6 on the Japanese seismic scale struck Kozu, triggering landslides and killing one person.

The three islands, which stretch between 140 km and 170 km south of Tokyo, have been jolted by magnitude 4 earthquakes since an underwater volcanic eruption occurred near Miyake late last month.