Typhoon Nanmadol may make landfall in southern Kyushu

Weather officials in Japan are urging people in Kyushu to be on high alert as a large and powerful typhoon approaches the Daito Islands in Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday. The typhoon is expected to come very close to or make landfall in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima on Sunday.

The Meteorological Agency says that at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Typhoon Nanmadol was traveling northwest over the sea 170 kilometers east-northeast of Minami Daito Island at 20 kilometers per hour.

The typhoon had a central atmospheric pressure of 910 hectopascals. It was packing winds of up to 198 kilometers per hour near its center, with peak gusts reaching 270 kilometers per hour.

Violent winds of 90 kilometers per hour or more were blowing 185 kilometers east of the typhoon's center and 150 kilometers west of it.

Weather officials say an emergency warning for rough conditions may be issued to Kagoshima later on Saturday and possibly to other parts of the Kyushu region. They are calling on people in the areas to be on the maximum alert.

Nanmadol is forecast to change course toward the northeast after approaching Kyushu through Monday, and then travel across eastern and northern Japan.

On Saturday, the wind speed is projected to hit a maximum of 108 kilometers per hour in the Amami region of Kagoshima, and 90 kilometers per hour in southern Kyushu and the Daito Islands. Peak gusts will be in the range of 126 kilometers to 162 kilometers per hour.

Winds are expected to get even stronger on Sunday. A maximum wind velocity of 198 kilometers per hour is forecast for the Amami region and southern Kyushu, 180 kilometers per hour for northern Kyushu, 90 kilometers per hour for the Shikoku region, 83 kilometers per hour for the Chugoku and Kansai regions, and 72 kilometers per hour for Okinawa Prefecture.

Peak gusts could reach 270 kilometers per hour in Amami and southern Kyushu, and 252 kilometers per hour in northern Kyushu.

The typhoon will bring heavy rain over a wide area centering on western Japan. Bands of heavy rain clouds could develop from Saturday night through Sunday over Amami and southern Kyushu, raising the risk of rain-triggered disasters.

Rainfall in the 24-hour period through Sunday noon is expected to be up to 500 millimeters in southern Kyushu, up to 300 millimeters in the Shikoku, Tokai and Amami regions, up to 250 millimeters in northern Kyushu, up to 200 millimeters in the Kansai region, up to 180 millimeters in the Okinawa region, and up to 150 millimeters in the Kanto-Koshin region.

Rainfall in the 24-period through Monday noon could reach 300 to 500 millimeters in Shikoku, 300 to 400 millimeters in northern and southern Kyushu as well as Tokai, 200 to 300 millimeters in Chugoku and Kansai, and 100 to 200 millimeters in Amami and Kanto-Koshin.

The Meteorological Agency is calling on people in western Japan as well as Okinawa and Amami to be on the alert for violent winds, big swells, high tides, landslides, flooding in low-lying areas and swollen rivers.

Weather officials are also urging residents in Kyushu and other areas likely to be affected to evacuate before it gets dark.