Southwest Japan prepares for Typhoon Nanmadol

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Weather officials issued an emergency warning for high winds, high waves and a storm surge for Kagoshima Prefecture in the southwest of the country.

The eye of Typhoon Nanmadol is clearly visible in satellite images. The typhoon has been growing rapidly since Friday evening.

It is south of Japan and is moving slowly north-northwest Saturday evening. It approached the Daito Islands of Okinawa Prefecture. It is expected to come very close to the Amami Islands and the southwestern main island of Kyushu from Sunday to Monday.

Officials say maximum winds of up to 198 kilometers per hour will batter the region, with peak gusts reaching 270 kilometers per hour through Sunday.

Southern Kyushu could receive up to 500 millimeters of rain over a 24-hour period through Sunday evening. The agency also warns that with the typhoon being severe, the rains and winds could intensify even in remote areas, and its effects could be prolonged.

Flights have been halted at airports across the country.

As of 8:30 p.m., Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways had canceled more than 120 flights for the day. 504 others have been canceled for Sunday. Other airlines are also canceling services.

The Japan Railways Group says some bullet train services may be suspended on Sunday and Monday.

As of 8:30 p.m., the operator of the Kyushu Shinkansen announced that it would suspend service between Kumamoto and Kagoshima Chuo all day Sunday. He announced that he would suspend service between Hakata and Kumamoto from around noon.

The typhoon is expected to track northeast and cross Japan’s main island of Honshu into eastern and northern Japan through Tuesday. Winds can intensify even far from the center of the typhoon.

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