Japan's weather agency warned Wednesday of two powerful typhoons approaching, as one of them began to affect islands off the country's southwestern Kyushu region, while the other is expected to make landfall in a few days.
A freighter with 43 foreign crew aboard sent a distress call while traveling about 185 kilometers west of Amami-Oshima Island off southern Kyushu, prompting the Japan Coast Guard to send patrol boats to search for the vessel.
Typhoon Maysak came close to northern Kyushu on Wednesday afternoon, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, warning of heavy rain that could cause mudslides and flooding as well as high waves and high tides.
More than 100 flights were canceled at airports in the Kyushu region and Okinawa Prefecture, according to a tally of reports by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, and more cancellations are expected Thursday morning.
Bullet train services between Hiroshima and Hakata stations will be suspended Thursday as a precaution from the first departure of the day until around 8 a.m., West Japan Railway Co. said.
Eight people in Okinawa have so far been slightly injured as the typhoon brought about strong gusts of wind. Thunderstorms hit southern Kyushu as well.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Typhoon Maysak was traveling 120 km west-southwest of Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, with an atmospheric pressure of 950 hectopascals at its center and winds of up to 216 km per hour.
In the Pacific to the south, Typhoon Haishen was moving through sea areas with high surface temperatures near the Mariana Islands and is projected to become as powerful as to cause record rain, high waves and high tides.
It is expected to approach southwestern and western Japan from Sunday to Monday with an atmospheric pressure lower than 930 hectopascals, the agency said.
The lower the atmospheric pressure at the center, the greater a typhoon's strength as it causes high tides when approaching coastal areas.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Japan Meteorological Agency's weather, earthquake, tsunami, and volcano information - Available in English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Thai, Nepali, Khmer, Burmese, and Mongolian.
- Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's XRAIN - Realtime information on nationwide rainfall and river level. Available in English.
- Japan Tourism Agency's Safety tips - Available in English, Korean, and Chinese.