TOKYO (AP) — A powerful Typhoon Khanun was approaching Japan’s southwestern island of Okinawa on Tuesday, lashing the region with strong winds and high waves, and forcing transportation to halt and stores to close.
The slow-moving Khanun, which means jackfruit in Thai, was heading northwest at speeds of 20 kph (12.4 mph) on Tuesday morning, packing surface winds of up to 162 kph (100 mph). It was at sea southeast of Okinawa’s main island, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
The city office in the Okinawan prefectural capital of Naha was closed Tuesday due to violent winds, while supermarket chains were also shut or operating under shorter hours.
Footage on NHK national television showed fallen trees on the street in Naha. No injuries were reported.
Hundreds of flights into and out of the Naha airport, including a more than a dozen international flights connecting Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai, were canceled, according to the airport. Public transportation on Okinawa, including buses and light rail transit systems in Naha, and ferries connecting Okinawa and nearby islands, were suspended.
The typhoon will keep moving west and away from the main Japanese archipelago after passing by Okinawa on Tuesday, when it is expected to bring rainstorms and waves as high as 12 meters (39 feet) to the region, the agency said.
Up to 18 centimeters (7 inches) of rainfall are expected in the Okinawa region within the next 24 hours, the meteorological agency said.
Officials warned residents of violent winds and high waves, as well as flooding, and urged them to stay indoors and away from windows.