Typhoon Vongfong barreled into Japan on Monday morning, with at least one person missing and dozens injured while more than 300 flights were grounded, officials and local media said, SIA reports quoting the Guardian.
Winds of up to 112 miles (180 km) per hour whipped ashore as the typhoon made landfall in Makurazaki on Kyushu island at around 8.30 am (2330 GMT), the meteorological agency said.
The typhoon is forecast to churn north-east through the Japanese archipelago at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour, the agency said, adding that it may reach the Kanto region – which includes Tokyo – late on Monday or early Tuesday.
Television footage showed the roof and walls of a house ripped off by gusts in Makurazaki, while huge waves were smashing into breakwaters.
“We are calling on our residents to remain on alert as we are still within the storm zone,” said Naoki Jomori, an official of Makurazaki’s anti-disaster office.
NHK said at least 45 people had been injured in typhoon-related accidents so far, a figure which included the 23 injured as the monster storm pounded the southern Okinawa islands over the weekend.
Local authorities issued evacuation advisories to more than 440,000 residents mainly in southwestern Japan.
In Shizuoka, central Japan, three Chinese people were swept away by high waves triggered by the typhoon on Sunday afternoon as they were fishing on the coast, a local police spokesman said.
“Two of them were rescued safely but the remaining one aged 26 is still missing,” the police spokesman said.
The weather agency warned that landslides, floods, high waves and heavy rains could hit a large swathe of the archipelago, where a relatively wet summer brought numerous landslides, including in Hiroshima where more than 70 people died.
The typhoon also paralysed traffic, stranding thousands of people travelling around the country at the end of a three-day national holiday celebrating health and sports.
Japanese airlines cancelled at least 372 flights, while West Japan Railway said it planned to suspend all local services in the Kansai region, western Japan, later in the day.
The typhoon came just a week after another strong tropical cyclone whipped through the country, leaving 11 people dead or missing.
Due to the storm, the search was suspended for the bodies of at least seven hikers believed to be lying on the still-smouldering Mount Ontake, from where 56 have already been retrieved.
The volcano was packed with walkers when it burst angrily to life on September 27, with many there to witness the spectacular colours of the countryside at the arrival of autumn.
The eruption was Japan’s deadliest in almost 90 years and nearly 1,000 troops, firefighters and police have participated in a search made treacherous by the gases still rising from the peak, as well as a knee-deep layer of sticky ash.