Officials said the storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades, generating waves up to 14 meters (46 feet) high. But since typhoons track along Japan’s coasts and occasionally veer onshore every summer, the country is relatively well prepared.
“Please take refuge as early as possible,” said Keiji Furuya, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission.
The meteorological agency issued special warnings for violent winds, heavy rain and storm surges. The storm was moving slowly and diminishing in intensity, but its wide area and slow movement could add to the potential damage, weather forecasters said.
Evacuation advisories were issued for some 500,000 people, and about 500 sought refuge in Naha’s city hall, NHK reported.