TOKYO - Super typhoon Neoguri was barrelling toward Japan's Okinawa islands Monday, packing violent winds and torrential rains as officials warned residents to stay indoors, while the biggest US Air Force base in the Pacific evacuated some of its aircraf
The storm could be one of the worst in decades, with gusts of up to 270 kilometres per hour (160 miles per hour) expected to slam into the southernmost subtropical island chain early Tuesday, and possibly reaching mainland Japan by Wednesday, the national weather agency said.
The typhoon was located some 600 kilometres (370 miles) south of Okinawa's main island at 0300 GMT and was moving north northwest at 25 kilometres (16 miles) per hour.
"Please be vigilant, stay inside buildings and avoid working outside and making unnecessary trips," a meteorological agency official said at a press briefing.
The official warned that the storm could pack "record level" winds and stir up high waves.
"It is likely to arrive in Okinawa Tuesday morning, generating violent gales and high waves... and, in some areas, violent rains," he said.
"Please be ready to evacuate," the official added.
The meteorological agency forecast Neoguri, whose name means racoon in Korean, would dump up to 80 millimetres (three inches) of rain an hour on Okinawa as it pounds the archipelago.