Typhoon Muifa brings rough weather to Sakishima Islands

Typhoon Muifa is likely to keep the Sakishima Islands in Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa under its storm zone until Tuesday morning.

Weather officials say the strong typhoon was located 70 kilometers north-northwest of Ishigaki Island as of 6 p.m. Monday, and is moving slowly northward.

The Meteorological Agency says the typhoon is packing winds of up to 144 kilometers per hour near its center, with peak gusts reaching 198 kilometers per hour.

Winds of more than 90 kilometers per hour are raging within a radius of 130 kilometers from the center.

Officials are warning of gusts powerful enough to topple homes until early Tuesday morning.

Seas around the Sakishima Islands will remain very rough, with waves expected to reach a height of 10 meters.

Heavy rains are also lashing the Sakishima Islands. On Hateruma Island, precipitation in the 24 hours through 11:50 a.m. on Monday came to 358.5 millimeters, the highest on record for the island.

Up to 50 millimeters of rainfall per hour is expected in the Sakishima Islands through Tuesday.

Weather officials say rainfall for the 24-hour period through 6 p.m. on Tuesday could reach 150 millimeters.

The officials are urging people on the islands to refrain from making non-essential outings and stay away from windows when indoors.