Tropical Storm Muifa likely to approach Okinawa from Sun. through Wed.

Japanese weather officials say Tropical Storm Muifa may approach Okinawa Prefecture in southwestern Japan from Sunday through Wednesday. Muifa is likely to pound the Sakishima Islands with rough seas and high winds.

The Meteorological Agency is calling on people to make early preparations for the storm.

The agency said Muifa was moving northwest over waters east of the Philippines at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour as of 6 p.m. on Friday.

It said Muifa has a central atmospheric pressure of 994 hectopascals, with maximum winds of about 83 kilometers per hour and gusts of 126 kilometers per hour.

The agency said the storm could approach Okinawa from Sunday through early next week after gaining strength. Around Monday, it could slow and continue to lash the Sakishima Islands for an extended period.

The islands are expected to get maximum winds of 72 to 86 kilometers per hour and gusts of 90 to 126 kilometers per hour on Sunday.

From Monday to Tuesday, strong winds will batter some parts of the islands.

Strong winds could also hit the Okinawa main island region around Wednesday, depending on the path of the storm.

Waves as high as 4 meters are expected on Saturday around the Sakishima islands, and 6 meters on Sunday.

Seas could become extremely rough from Sunday through Tuesday, depending on the course of the storm.

The Sakishima Islands could have torrential downpours from Monday and possible storm surges from Monday through Wednesday.