Typhoon Maysak nears Japan's Okinawa

Typhoon Maysak was about 90 km northwest of Kume Island on Monday morning.
Typhoon Maysak was about 90 km northwest of Kume Island on Monday morning.

Torrential rains and dangerous winds have lashed Japan's southern islands as Typhoon Maysak closes in.

Authorities are urging residents to "evacuate to sturdy buildings" as they warn of violent winds, a record storm surge, high waves and flooding.

At least four people were injured on the island of Okinawa, broadcaster NHK reported on Monday.

Maysak brought gusts of up to 196 kilometres per hour to Kume Island and more than 33,000 households lost electricity on Okinawa and Kume, the Okinawa Times reported.

The storm is expected to cause the cancellation of 238 flights in the Okinawa region on Tuesday with a total of 266 already grounded, the paper said.

Naha Airport on Okinawa has been closed since late Monday.

As of 8 am local time, the eye of the storm was about 90 km northwest of Kume Island, travelling north-northwest at 20 km/h with maximum sustained winds of 162 km/h and gusts of 234 km/h, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The storm is likely to dump up to 80 millimetres of rainfall per hour on some parts of the island of Okinawa.

Up to 200 millimetres of rain is forecast for Okinawa and up to 150 millimetres for the island of Kyushu by Wednesday morning.

Australian Associated Press