'Violent' typhoon Mawar may approach Okinawa early next week

US weather officials say that a violent typhoon, Mawar, has now developed to qualify as a "super typhoon." They warn that it could approach Japan's Okinawa islands early next week.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in the US has announced its analysis shows that the maximum gust wind speed of Mawar has exceeded 216 kilometers per hour, categorizing it as a "super typhoon."

On Thursday afternoon, the typhoon was near the Mariana islands in the Pacific, moving west by northwest.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says that Mawar is forecast to continue moving west, off the eastern coast of the Philippines, before turning north.
The agency says the typhoon could come close to the Okinawa islands of Japan around Monday next week, with stormy weather expected at sea.

The agency warns that the typhoon could also bring heavy rain to some other parts of Japan, as it blows warm and moist air into a rain front that is forecast to hang over Japan's Honshu main island next week.

Nagoya University Professor Tsuboki Kazuhisa pointed out that Mawar is unusually strong for a typhoon at this time of year. He advised people in Okinawa to take a maximum level of precaution.

He added that the typhoon could change course next week and come close to Honshu, and even if this does not happen, the huge amount of moisture the typhoon will bring could cause heavy rain in western Japan.