Typhoon Mindulle lashes Izu Islands

Typhoon Mindulle is bringing violent winds and heavy rain to parts of the Izu Islands, south of Japan's main island of Honshu.

The Japan Meteorological Agency estimates that as of Friday noon, the large and very strong typhoon was located over waters 150 kilometers east-southeast of Hachijojima, one of the Izu Islands. It is believed to be moving northeast at 35 kilometers per hour.

Wide areas of the Izu Islands and parts of Chiba Prefecture 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 its strength while moving northeast.

Through Friday evening, the islands are expected to be hit by winds of up to 126 kilometers per hour with gusts reaching 180 kilometers per hour -- powerful enough to topple utility poles and blow away parts of buildings.

The Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, is expected to experience winds of up to 100 kilometers per hour.

There could also be strong winds in the Tokai region 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 and northeastern Japan will also be high.

Torrential rain is lashing the Izu Islands and Kanto on Friday, with downpours also forecast in southern parts of northeastern Japan.

Precipitation for the 24-hour period through Saturday noon could reach 120 millimeters in the Izu Islands and 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.

The typhoon has disrupted transportation.

Some train services in Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures have been suspended on Friday.

More than 120 flights departing from and arriving at Tokyo's Haneda Airport have been canceled.