Japan on high alert as 'very strong' typhoon approaches: JMA

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the storm is expected to hit Honshu on Tuesday after slamming into Okinawa.

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An aerial view shows a damaged home for the elderly caused by a flood triggered by Typhoon Lionrock Reuters

A powerful typhoon packed with powerful winds was approaching to Okinawa, the southernmost island chain of Japan, on Monday forcing several flight cancellations.

The weather agency in Japan said the "very strong" storm is set to hit the subtropical islands later in the day, packing gusts of up to 250kmh.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency said early on Monday the typhoon was some 270km south of the Okinawan capital Naha. It also added that the storm was moving in a north-northeasterly direction.

The agency has issued high wave and storm warnings saying that the typhoon is expected to hit Japan's main island of Honshu on Tuesday after slamming into Okinawa.

Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, Japan's two largest airlines, said in a statement that a combined 125 domestic flights had been cancelled due to the typhoon so far.

The media reported that a number of classes at primary and secondary schools in Okinawa were cancelled on Monday after the warning was issued.

Typhoons are quite frequent in Japan with Typhoon Malakas bringing torrential rainfall which triggered severe flooding in the last week of Septemeber. One person was killed as the typhoon ripped across the country.

Apart from Malakas, last month, Typhoon Lionrock pounded the country killing 22 people as it struck Japan. Flight and train services were disrupted and at least 400 flights were cancelled affecting around 21,000 passengers. The typhoon destructed many parts of the country.

**This story is developing**