TOKYO: The Japan Meteorological Agency Friday warned of strong winds, high waves, heavy rains, landslides and flooding as powerful Typhoon Haishen is likely to approach the country’s Kyushu southwestern region over the weekend.
The 10th typhoon of the year is expected to approach Minamidaito Island in Okinawa Prefecture in the early hours of Sunday and Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture Sunday afternoon.
On Monday, the typhoon is likely to either move northward off the western coast of Kyushu or approach and make landfall in the region while remaining strong enough to prompt the agency to issue a possible emergency warning.
Winds in Okinawa and Kagoshima’s Amami region are expected to mark a maximum instantaneous speed of 70 to 85 meters per second on Sunday, enough to cause some buildings to collapse.
“We would like people to complete their preparations for the typhoon by Friday,” Yoshihisa Nakamoto, director of the agency’s Forecast Division, said at a press conference.
At a separate press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged people to “take actions to protect their lives without hesitation, acting as early as possible based on evacuation information released by local governments.”
Rainfall is expected to reach up to 300-400 millimeters in Amami and 200-300 millimeters in Okinawa in the 24 hours to 6 p.m. Sunday (9 a.m. GMT).
An increasing number of companies operating in Kyushu decided to shut operations over the weekend in an effort to ensure the safety of employees.
Convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co., a unit of Seven & i Holdings Co., will close about 1,000 outlets, or more than 40 pct of its total in the region.
Canon Inc. will halt operations at seven plants on Monday. Honda Motor Co. will close its plant in Kumamoto Prefecture on Monday.
Yamato Holdings Co.’s Yamato Transport Co. and SG Holdings Co.’s Sagawa Express Co. will suspend parcel delivery services in the region Sunday and Monday.
As of 9 p.m. Friday, the typhoon was moving west-northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour about 420 kilometers south-southeast of Minamidaito Island.
With a central atmospheric pressure of 920 hectopascals, the typhoon had a maximum wind speed of 50 meters per second and a maximum wind gust speed of 70 meters per second.