Powerful typhoon hits Japan mainland (+video)

A roadside tree fallen by strong winds lies in Urasoe city as Typhoon Jelawat hit the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. Photo / AP
A roadside tree fallen by strong winds lies in Urasoe city as Typhoon Jelawat hit the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. Photo / AP

Powerful Typhoon Jelawat has hit the Japanese mainland, sparking the evacuation of thousands a day after it tore across southern Okinawa island, where local media said it left one dead and some 140 injured.

Packing winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour, the typhoon reached central Aichi prefecture at around 7:00 pm (10pm NZT) and was moving up the main island of Honshu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The municipal government of the central city of Nagoya issued an evacuation advisory for 57,000 people living in 21,000 homes, due to the fear of flooding caused by rising river levels in the city, according to Jiji Press.

A further 11,000 were told to evacuate in the city of Ishinomaki in the country's northeast, Jiji Press reported.

A 29-year-old man was swept away by high waves when Jelawat hit Okinawa and was later confirmed dead, while at least 140 people were injured in eight prefectures, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The typhoon is forecast to churn northeastwards towards Tokyo over the next 24 hours and bring torrential rainfall and towering waves up to 10 metres (33 feet) high.

The meteorological agency predicted rainfall of up to 400 millimetres in some areas in the 24 hours to Monday evening, Jiji Press said.

More than 500 flights, mainly in western Japan, were cancelled on Sunday and some shinkansen bullet train services across the country had been suspended, Kyodo said.

- AFP

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