Nearly two million people have been told to leave their homes as Typhoon Haishen continues to hammer southern Japan.
The vicious winds battered the southern mainland on Sunday with powerful storms and drenching rain cutting power to tens of thousands of homes.
It has now prompted authorities to call for over 1.8 million people to evacuate.
Menacing Haishen was drawing closer to Japan’s main southern island as Sunday came to an end.
“This typhoon is headed toward and may potentially make landfall in Kyushu, bringing record rains, winds, waves and high tides,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting with cabinet
“I am asking that people exercise the utmost caution.”
The typhoon was forecast to carry top sustained winds of up to 216 km per hour (134 mph) by Monday, Japan’s meteorological agency said.
Authorities urged evacuations for people in areas across seven prefectures in southern Japan, public broadcaster NHK said.
It is an effort that was complicated by social distancing that meant evacuation centres could take fewer people than normal.
Trees on Yakushima, an island 100 km (60 miles) south of Kagoshima city, could be seen shaking violently in strong winds and driving rain, in a post on Twitter.
Elderly citizens wearing face masks due to the coronavirus outbreak were gathering at evacuation centres in Kagoshima and other parts of southern Japan, footage on NHK showed.
The typhoon has cut power to some 180,000 homes, NHK said adding that public transport services were all stopped in the affected prefectures.
Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said two injuries had been reported.
Japan’s coastguard on Saturday suspended for a second day its search for crew missing from a ship that capsized in the East China Sea last week with a cargo of cattle.
Typhoon Haishen follows Typhoon Maysak, which smashed into the Korean peninsula on Thursday, leaving at least two dead and thousands temporarily without power.