Powerful typhoon Hinnamnor nears southern Japan islands

Powerful typhoon Hinnamnor nears southern Japan islands


Japan's weather agency said Tuesday "very strong" typhoon Hinnamnor was nearing several remote southern islands, prompting warnings for local residents to seek shelter before it becomes too dangerous.

On Tuesday evening, the typhoon was in Pacific waters south of Japan, 340 kilometers (210 miles) east-northeast of Minami Daito island, one of a string of remote isles that form the Okinawa region, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Packing gusts up to 252 kilometers per hour, it was moving west at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour, and is expected to threaten the islands from Wednesday evening through Friday.

Some of the remote islands are home to only a few hundred people, but the entire region is home to about 1.4 million people, and the mainland of Okinawa is home to most of the U.S. military bases in Japan.The weather agency expects the storm to intensify to the highest category of "severe" starting Wednesday evening, with gusts of up to 270 kilometers per hour.

Wednesday's strong winds could "bring down some houses," according to the Okinawa unit of the National Meteorological Agency.

Heavy rain and high waves will also hit the region.

"Please be very careful because of the heavy winds. Take precautionary measures, such as moving to safe buildings, before the wind starts," the agency said.

Japan is currently in typhoon season and is hit by about 20 such storms each year, which regularly cause heavy rains that lead to landslides or flash floods. 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)