Millions told to evacuate as weather system heads for Japan

About two million people in southwestern Japan have been ordered to evacuate ahead of a powerful typhoon forecast to hit the region on Sunday, according to public broadcaster NHK-World Japan.

The typhoon is forecast to hit southern Kyushu, one of Japan’s southwest islands, specifically within Kagoshima Prefecture.

“Weather officials have issued an emergency warning for violent winds, high waves and a storm surge for Kagoshima Prefecture,” NHK reported.

The typhoon is forecast to hit southern Kyushu, one of Japan’s southwest islands. (CNN)

Residents in 965,000 households have been ordered to evacuate across the seaside cities of Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Amakusa.

A level five alert, the highest on Japan’s disaster warning scale, was issued to more than 14,000 people in the city of Nishinoomote on Kyushu island, NHK reported.

“There is a possibility that it will be record heavy rain and an emergency heavy rain warning will be announced,” said Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA).

“The highest level of vigilance is required for rising water levels and flooding of rivers, landslide disasters, and flooding of lowlands.”

The Director of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Forecast Division during a news conference on Typhoon Nanmadol in Tokyo. (CNN)

Ryuta Kurora, a JMA official, warned on Saturday that strong winds could cause houses to collapse. Kurora urged residents to evacuate before the storm hit to escape the risk of landslides and flooding.

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Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have already cancelled at least 335 flights that were scheduled to depart from or arrive at airports in Japan on Sunday, according to NHK.

“The eye of Typhoon Nanmadol is clearly visible in satellite images. The typhoon has developed rapidly since Friday night,” NHK reported.

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