Typhoon Mindulle approaches Izu Islands

Violent winds from Typhoon Mindulle are pounding parts of the Izu Islands, south of Japan's main island of Honshu.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says that as of 5 a.m. on Friday, the large and very strong typhoon was located over waters 260 kilometers south of Hachijojima, one of the Izu Islands. It is believed to be moving north-northeast at 30 kilometers per hour.

The islands of Hachijojima and Aogashima are within the storm zone. Mindulle is packing winds of up to 162 kilometers per hour near its center, with gusts reaching up to 216 kilometers per hour.

The typhoon is expected to maintain most of its strength while moving northeast and getting closer to the Izu Islands on Friday.

Winds are expected to strengthen and could become powerful enough to topple utility poles and blow away parts of buildings. People are advised to exercise caution and stay indoors.

The Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, is expected to be hit with winds of up to 100.8 kilometers per hour with gusts of 108 to 144 kilometers per hour on Friday. Transport across the region's coastal areas could be disrupted.

There will also be strong winds in Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan and southern parts of northeastern Japan on Friday.

The sea is expected to be very rough. Waves could reach 11 meters around the Izu Islands, 9 meters off Kanto and 8 meters around the Ogasawara Islands, far south of Honshu. Waves off central, northeastern and western Japan will also be high.

Torrential rain will pummel the Izu Islands on Friday, with downpours also forecast across the Pacific side of eastern and northern Japan.

Precipitation for the 24-hour period through late Friday night could grow to 300 millimeters on the Izu Islands and 150 millimeters in Kanto.

People are advised to beware of the possibility of mudslides, flooding in low-lying areas and swollen rivers.

Heavy rain and powerful winds could also batter areas far away from the typhoon's center.