TOKYO (AP) — Japan was bracing for destructive winds and huge waves as a powerful typhoon churned Monday toward the southern islands of Okinawa.
Typhoon Neoguri is expected to reach Okinawa early Tuesday, packing winds up to 250 kilometers (154 miles) per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It said the storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades, generating waves up to 14 meters (46 feet) high.
“There is a risk of unprecedentedly strong winds and torrential rains. Please refrain from nonessential outdoor activities,” Meteorological Agency official Satoshi Ebihara told reporters at a news conference.
The agency issued a special warning for violent winds and flood tides.
Television reports showed workers in Okinawa tying braces onto palm trees to help minimize damage.
Government leaders held an emergency meeting and urged local governments and residents to take maximum precautions.
Forecasts show the storm tracking toward Kyushu island and then across Japan’s main island of Honshu. It is forecast to lose some power over land, but winds and heavy rains could cause landslides and other damage, Ebihara warned.
The typhoon comes on the tail end of Japan’s summer rainy season, and landslide warnings already are in effect for some areas due to those seasonal downpours.