Typhoon Muifa brings rain, strong winds to Japan's Okinawa islands

Kyodo News

Posted at Sep 12 2022 05:11 PM

Typhoon Muifa brought heavy rain and strong winds to a group of islands near Okinawa's main island in Japan's southernmost prefecture on Monday, the weather agency said, with its sluggish progress expected to cause disruptions to the islands into Wednesday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of powerful winds and rough seas, as well as landslides and overflowing rivers due to the heavy rainfall. It also said strong winds and stormy conditions capable of damaging homes could continue into Tuesday.

The season's 12th typhoon, which the agency downgraded from a very powerful typhoon to a powerful one Monday, was slowly heading north toward the East China Sea and passed over Ishigaki Island around noon.

As of 2 p.m., it was located about 40 kilometers north-northeast of the island. The typhoon had an atmospheric pressure of 965 hectopascals at its center and maximum wind speeds of up to 216 km per hour.

On the island of Hateruma, a record 357.5 millimeters of rainfall was registered over 24 hours ending Monday morning, with 42 mm falling on Ishigaki in an hour.

The typhoon led All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to cancel flights to and from the islands of Miyako and Ishigaki. Voting in Okinawa Prefecture's gubernatorial election took place on Friday rather than Sunday in parts of the city of Miyakojima.

According to the weather agency, the typhoon is forecast to pack winds of up to 216 kph on Monday and Tuesday before weakening to between 72 and 108 kph on Wednesday.

The agency also said atmospheric conditions within and around the typhoon are very unstable. It forecast 300 mm of rainfall in Okinawa in the 24-hour period ending noon Tuesday and between 50 and 100 mm in the subsequent 24 hours.

Typhoon Merbok, the 13th of the season, was also reported by the weather agency on Monday to have formed off Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean, but it is expected to remain far to the east of Japan.