Typhoon Haishen drew closer to Japan's southern mainland on Sunday, prompting authorities to recommend evacuation and warn of potentially record rainfall, unprecedented wind, high tides and large ocean swells.
Authorities urged early evacuation for more than 100,000 households in the southern prefectures of Okinawa, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA).
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with relevant cabinet ministers at 4 p.m. (0700 GMT) to discuss the emergency response to the typhoon, his office said.
Elderly citizens wearing face masks due to the coronavirus outbreak were slowly gathering at evacuation centres in Kagoshima and other parts of southern Japan, footage on national broadcaster NHK showed.
The typhoon has cut power to more than 3,000 homes in Okinawa, the southernmost island prefecture, and more than 8,000 homes in Amamioshima, according to national broadcaster NHK.
Two injuries have been reported, according to the FDMA, but authorities were advising the highest levels of caution for a typhoon.
"Areas where the typhoon passes are expected to see record high winds and waves," a meteorological official told a nationally televised news conference on Sunday.
"I am urging everyone to take the utmost caution, follow local authorities' instructions and protect your own life. Once you enter an area of high wind, you may not be able to move to a safer place."
The typhoon is forecast to have atmospheric pressure of 935 hectopascals at its centre, and sustained winds of up to 234 km (145 miles) per hour by Monday, the meteorological agency said.
The typhoon's centre was near Yakushima, an island around 100 km (60 miles) south of Kagoshima city, on Sunday, moving northwest at 30 kph (20 mph).
The typhoon was forecast to approach the Goto Islands west of Nagasaki around midnight and then move to the Korean peninsula on Monday, according to Japan's meteorological agency.
High waves lashed the southwestern coast of Kagoshima and high winds rattled street signs, NHK video showed.
Airlines have cancelled more than 500 flights departing from Okinawa and southern Japan, NHK said.
Japan's coastguard on Saturday suspended its search for crew missing from a cattle ship that capsized in the East China Sea for a second day because of the typhoon.
Typhoon Haishen follows Typhoon Maysak, which smashed into the Korean peninsula on Thursday, leaving at least two dead and thousands temporarily without power.