An unusually powerful typhoon packing winds of up to 252 kph was approaching Okinawa Island on Saturday, the Meteorological Agency warned.
As of 7 p.m., Typhoon Bolaven, was 170 km south of Minami-Daito Island, traveling northwest at a speed of 15 kph.
The typhoon, the 15th of the season, was expected to come close to Okinawa Island on Sunday afternoon.
Sustained winds of 90 kph were reported 220 km from the eye.
The Meteorological Agency warned that the typhoon could bring record rain and winds through Monday.
On Saturday afternoon, winds of up to 108 kph were observed on Minami-Daito.
Up to 300 mm of rain was expected on Okinawa Island over a 24-hour period to Sunday evening, while nearby Amami Island in Kagoshima Prefecture as well as southern Kyushu could see up to 200 mm, the agency said.
The rain was expected to get even worse after Sunday, with possibly another 600 to 800 mm falling on Okinawa Island over the 24 hours to Monday evening, the agency warned.