Philippines, Taiwan, Japan lie in typhoon's path

Meteorologists are warning that Typhoon Chanthu could bring violent winds and heavy rain to the Philippines, Taiwan and parts of Okinawa in southwestern Japan through Sunday.

As of 06:00 UTC on Friday, the typhoon had a central atmospheric pressure of 925 hectopascals.

Winds of up to 200 kilometers per hour are blowing near the center, with gusts of up to 270 kilometers per hour.

Officials say the extremely powerful typhoon has rapidly gained strength and is heading northwest over the sea east of the Philippines.

Philippine authorities say the typhoon could bring heavy rain and destructive winds to northern parts of the country from Friday through Saturday.

The storm will move northward while retaining strength and is expected to approach Taiwan and a remote island chain in Okinawa Prefecture on Sunday.

The Yaeyama region of the chain, which includes Yonaguni and Ishigaki islands, is expected to experience winds of up to 144 kilometers per hour, while maximum wind speeds could exceed 200 kilometers per hour.

Forecasters are urging people in the areas to prepare for stormy winds and high waves before the typhoon approaches.