A powerful typhoon is heading towards the south of Japan

Japan’s weather agency warned Tuesday that Typhoon Hinnamnor is approaching several remote islands in the south of the country, calling on residents to take shelter before the situation becomes too dangerous.

On Tuesday evening, the typhoon, described as “very strong,” was in the Pacific waters south of Japan, 340 kilometers east-northeast of Minami Daito Island, one of the remote islands that make up the Okinawa archipelago, the agency said.

With gusts of up to 252 kilometers per hour, it is moving westward at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour, and is expected to pose a threat to these islands from Wednesday night to Friday.

Some of these islands are isolated and home to only a few hundred people, but the region as a whole is home to about 1.4 million people while the island of Okinawa is home to most of Japan’s U.S. military bases.

The weather agency expects the storm to strengthen to a “severe” category starting Wednesday night, with gusts of up to 270 km/h. The agency’s Okinawa branch said Wednesday’s intense winds could cause some homes to collapse.

Heavy rain and high waves will also hit the area.

“Please use extreme caution in the event of high winds. Take precautionary measures such as moving to solid buildings before the high winds begin,” the agency called.

Japan is currently in the middle of typhoon season. It is hit by about 20 such storms a year.

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