Mindulle to approach Izu Islands early on Friday

Powerful Typhoon Mindulle is expected to approach Tokyo's Izu Islands in the Pacific as early as dawn on Friday. Weather officials are warning of violent weather on the islands, as well as storms and heavy rains across wide areas of central to northeastern Japan.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says the typhoon was traveling north-northeast over the sea south of the Japanese archipelago at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour as of 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Mindulle has a central atmospheric pressure of 945 hectopascals and is packing winds of up to 162 kilometers per hour near its center, with gusts of up to 216 kilometers per hour. Winds of more than 90 kilometers per hour are blowing within 280 kilometers of its center.

Winds are becoming stronger on the Ogasawara Islands.

Mindulle is expected to continue moving northeast and approach the Izu Islands between Friday dawn and shortly after midday while keeping its "very strong" power.

Weather officials are urging people to refrain from going out, as violent winds could cause damage such as toppling utility poles.

"Very strong" winds are also forecast, especially for coastal areas of the Kanto, Tohoku and Tokai regions. People in those areas are urged to stay updated with the latest information, as traffic disruptions could occur.

Waves of up to 11 meters are forecast off the Izu Islands on Friday. Waves as high as 8 meters are expected off Kanto and the Ogasawara Islands.

Rain is expected to intensify on the Izu Islands beginning Thursday night. Heavy rain may also fall on the Pacific side of eastern and northern Japan.

In the 24 hours through Friday noon, up to 300 millimeters of rain is expected on the Izu Islands, and up to 150 millimeters in the Kanto and Tokai regions.

On the Izu Islands, 300 to 400 millimeters of rain may fall in the two days through Saturday. That's equivalent to the monthly average for September and October.

People are advised to be prepared for possible disasters and to check how they can evacuate before the storm approaches.