Japan is feverishly awaiting the “very dangerous” Nanmadol.

Thousands of people took refuge in shelters on Sunday in the south-west of the country, as this powerful typhoon headed towards the region, prompting authorities to recommend that nearly three million residents evacuate the area.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has issued a "special warning" for Kagoshima Prefecture, in the south of the big island of Kyushu, to warn residents of the high risk of severe weather.

As of Sunday morning, 25,680 homes in Kagoshima and neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture were already without power, while regional rail services, flights and ferry crossings were canceled, according to local utilities and transport services.

“Some houses could collapse”

Above all, the JMA warned that the region could face "unprecedented" danger from high winds, raging waves and torrential rains.

"The utmost caution is required," said Ryuta Kurora, head of the JMA's forecasting unit, on Saturday.

"The wind will be so strong that some houses could collapse," he said, also warning of floods and landslides.

So far, 2.9 million Kyushu residents have received urgent evacuation recommendations, according to the government's Fire and Disaster Management Agency, and Kagoshima Prefecture officials said more than 8,500 people have s were already taking refuge in shelters this Sunday morning.

Ryuta Kurora also urged residents to evacuate before the worst happens and warned that even in solid buildings, they should take precautions.

Impossible to see outside with such heavy rain

On Sunday morning, high-speed train traffic in the region was suspended, along with regional train lines, and state broadcaster NHK said at least 510 flights had been cancelled.

On the ground, a Kagoshima department official said no injuries or major damage had been reported so far, but conditions were deteriorating.

“The rain and the wind are getting stronger.

The rain is so heavy that you can't really see what's outside.

Everything seems white”.

At 9 a.m. (1 a.m. in Paris), the typhoon was 80 km southeast of the small Japanese island of Yakushima and the wind was blowing at 252 km / h.

It is expected to make landfall in Kyushu, further north, on Sunday evening before turning northeast and sweeping Japan's main island of Honshu through Wednesday morning.

The typhoon season peaks from August to September in Japan where it is marked by heavy rains that can cause sudden floods and deadly landslides.


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