A strong typhoon was moving northwest toward Shikoku on Thursday, the Meteorological Agency said, warning of heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Typhoon Nangka was described as particularly slow-moving, the kind of storm that can wreak most damage. Fears of landslides prompted the government of Kochi Prefecture on Thursday to advise over 4,000 residents to evacuate their homes.

Traffic was disrupted, mostly in western Japan, with some flights and railway services canceled or suspended. West Japan Railway's Okayama office said all non-rapid rail services in its area would be suspended from 9 p.m.

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines canceled a total of 110 flights for Thursday, including those connecting Tokyo and Shikoku.

Budget carrier Peach Aviation canceled nine flights departing from Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture on Thursday and 29 to and from the airport Friday.

Parts of expressways west of Tokyo were also closed due to high tides and heavy rain.

On Thursday parts of the country were already suffering from heavy rain, with Kawauchi village in Fukushima Prefecture recording 77.5 mm per hour in the morning. Meanwhile, at Cape Muroto in Kochi, winds of 119 kph were observed.

The Meteorological Agency forecast rainfall in the 24 hours through noon Friday of 800 mm in Shikoku, 600 mm in Osaka, Nagoya and surrounding regions, and 300 mm in the greater Tokyo area.

At 1 p.m., the typhoon was roughly 200 km south of Cape Muroto and heading north-northwest at a speed of 20 km per hour. The storm was packing winds of up to 144 kph with an atmospheric pressure of 960 hectopascals at its center.