The powerful typhoon Bolaven has crashed into the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, forcing hundreds of residents evacuate to public buildings. Residents have been told to stay indoors and take shelter from winds of over 250 kilometers per hour and heavy rains. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the typhoon has been some 90 kilometers east of Okinawa's capital Naha and could bring waves up to 13 meters. "As the typhoon is moving slowly, violent winds are expected to continue for many hours on the Okinawa main island," the Japanese agency said.
Around 300 people have taken refuge in public buildings on the island. Bus, monorail services, flights and ships linking the main island with smaller islands have also been canceled.Reports say that about 3,000 homes in Okinawa and 16,400 homes in Amami Island were also hit by a blackout. The Japanese weather agency has announced that the typhoon is expected to move north up the East China Sea on Monday and closing in on South Korea's southern island of Jeju by late in the day. Typhoon Bolaven comes just after another storm, which caused widespread damage in Taiwan. Typhoon Bolaven is the 15th destructive storm of the season in East Asia. TNP/JR