US weather officials call Nanmadol 'super typhoon'

US weather officials are describing a violent typhoon approaching Kyushu in southwestern Japan as a "super typhoon."

Experts say a super typhoon is defined in the United States as a typhoon with a central atmospheric pressure of less than about 900 hectopascals and a maximum wind speed of 216 kilometers or more.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says Nanmadol had a central atmospheric pressure of 910 hectopascals on Saturday morning. The agency says it was packing winds of up to 198 kilometers per hour near its center.

That was a little short of the criteria for a super typhoon, but the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in the US, said according to its analysis on Saturday Typhoon Nanmadol had maximum winds exceeding 216 kilometers per hour.

Japan's agency officials say the typhoon is maintaining its strength and describe it as extremely dangerous. They are urging people in the regions likely to be affected to be on the highest alert.