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Millions told to evacuate as Typhoon Nanmadol heads for Japan

<i>Tosei Kisanuki/AP</i><br/>Waves crash on the shore in Miyazaki City
Tosei Kisanuki/AP
Waves crash on the shore in Miyazaki City

By Jessie Yeung, Junko Ogura, Sahar Akbarzai and Jennifer Hauser, CNN

About two million people in southwestern Japan have been ordered to evacuate ahead of a powerful typhoon forecast to hit the region on Sunday, according to public broadcaster NHK-World Japan.

Unprecedented storms and rainfall could strike Japan’s southwest island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned on Sunday, calling the typhoon “large and very strong.”

“In Kagoshima Prefecture, there is a risk of storms, high waves and storm surges like never experienced before,” the JMA wrote, adding that it could cause a “large-scale disaster.”

Weather officials have issued an emergency warning for Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu island, NHK reported.

Residents in 965,000 households have been ordered to evacuate across the seaside cities of Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Amakusa.

A level five alert, the highest on Japan’s disaster warning scale, was issued to more than 14,000 people in the city of Nishinoomote on Kyushu island, NHK reported.

“There is a possibility that it will be record heavy rain and an emergency heavy rain warning will be announced,” said Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA).

“The highest level of vigilance is required for rising water levels and flooding of rivers, landslide disasters, and flooding of lowlands.”

Nanmadol is the 14th typhoon Japan has experienced this year and is currently forecast to make landfall in Kyushu on Sunday evening.

Ryuta Kurora, a JMA official, warned Saturday strong winds could cause houses to collapse. Kurora urged residents to evacuate before the storm hit to escape the risk of landslides and flooding.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have already canceled at least 335 flights that were scheduled to depart from or arrive at airports in Japan on Sunday, according to NHK.

“The eye of Typhoon Nanmadol is clearly visible in satellite images. The typhoon has developed rapidly since Friday night,” NHK reported.

The Kyushu Electric power company also reported on Sunday that almost 60,000 households across the island are without electricity.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Asia/Pacific

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