Japan braces for likely landfall from strong typhoon

Japan braces for likely landfall from strong typhoon

However, Mr Douty said: "Highest-sustained winds at landfall can be about 145 to 160 km/h (90 to 100 mph), which will have the potential to cause significant damage".

Japan has been hit by a succession of typhoons recently, with western parts of the country devastated by massive flooding and landslides that left more than 220 people dead.

Almost 600 flights were cancelled, including several worldwide flights departing and arriving at Nagoya and Osaka, along with ferries connecting ports in western Japan.

Local media said more than a million households were left without power by the storm, and evacuation advisories were issued for almost 1.2 million people, though only another 16,000 were under stronger - though still not mandatory - evacuation orders.

It has also warned of potential strong waves, floods and landslides as Jebi could be the strongest typhoon in 25 years.

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Typhoon Jebi, with winds of up to 216 kilometres (135 miles) per hour, swept a tanker anchored in Osaka Bay into a bridge and partially flooded Kansai International Airport on an island in the bay.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says residents of areas that may be hit by a powerful typhoon should take safety precautions and be ready to evacuate quickly.

"Rainstorms will likely intensify suddenly as the typhoon is approaching while picking up speed", the official said, warning people to prepare for evacuations and not go outside unless absolutely necessary.

Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, urged people not to wait for mandatory evacuation orders to abandon their homes as Typhoon Jebi, known as Typhoon 21 in Japan, struck the island of Shikoku and the centre and west of the main island of Honshu.

The typhoon was downgraded to "strong" after it made landfall.

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He also instructed his cabinet to "take all measures possible".

Televised footage showed waves hammer into the Japanese coastline and is expected to cause high tides later today.

The weather agency's chief forecaster Ryuta Kurora said Jebi is the strongest storm to hit Japan since 1993. Many schools have been shut in the affected areas as well.

More than 175,000 people lost power in western Japan, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, while more than a million people were advised to leave their homes by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

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