Rains lash Japan ahead of typhoon

All flights and ships into and out of Japan's Okinawa islands cancelled, as pacific nation braces for Typhoon Jelawat.

    Rains lash Japan ahead of typhoon
    Television footage showed trees bowing as heavy rain and strong winds battered Ishigaki in Okinawa [Al Jazeera]

    Japan has been on alert for strong winds and torrential rain, as a typhoon is expected to hit the Asia-Pacific nation.

    A very strong typhoon was near Taiwan, about 120km south of Ishigaki Island as of 2pm local time (05:00 GMT), packing winds of 180km per hour near its centre, the weather agency said on Friday.

    Typhoon Jelawat's winds are blowing at more than 200km an hour, and is expected to be one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country in decades.

    All flights and ships into and out of Japan's Okinawa islands have been cancelled.

    Television footage aired by public broadcaster NHK showed trees bowing as heavy rain and strong winds battered Ishigaki, a part of the Okinawa chain of islands.

    Jelawat was moving north-northeast and on course to hit the main part of Okinawa on Saturday before reaching Japan's southern main island of Kyushu on Sunday, the broadcaster said.

    It was forecast to be off the coast of central Japan by early Monday.

    A smaller typhoon, Ewiniar, was churning in the Pacific towards eastern Japan. It was forecast to come close to eastern Japan on Saturday before veering off over the Pacific.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.