Super Typhoon Neoguri is expected to reach Okinawa early Tuesday, in what has been described as a "once in decades" storm.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has measured sustained winds of 123 miles per hour, with gusts so far hitting 168 miles per hour. The storm has generated waves 46 feet high.
Meteorological Agency official Satoshi Ebihara warned, "there is a risk of unprecedentedly strong winds and torrential rains. Please refrain from nonessential outdoor activities." The agency added special warnings for flood tides.
Neoguri passed by the Philippines, a country still reeling from Typhoon Haiyan which killed thousands last year. Neoguri passed 298 miles east of the northernmost province of Batanes.
Japan was also hit in 2013 by Typhoon Wipha, which killed 17 when it made its way to Tokyo.
Forecasts project the typhoon moving toward Kyushu island and then across Japan's main island of Honshu. It is expected to lose some power over land, but heavy winds and rains could cause landslides and other damage to infrastructure.
A storm surge in excess of 20 feet is expected over the southern Ryukyu Islands, and the United States' Kadena Air Force Base, which is situated on the westernmost part of Okinawa, will likely see the strongest and most destructive winds.
— NASA (@NASA) July 7, 2014
Super Typhoon Neoguri as it passes by the Philippines:
— NASA Earth (@NASA_EO) July 7, 2014
Neoguri as seen from the International Space Station:
— Ed Piotrowski (@EdPiotrowski) July 6, 2014
The devastating impact of Neoguri will gradually taper off across Okinawa Tuesday night. Though, the storm is expected to continue a trajectory across the northern Ryukyu Islands and southern Kyushu on Wednesday.
Image via Youtube