A very strong typhoon in the Pacific may be taking a ''quite dangerous'' course and could sweep across large swaths of the Japanese archipelago as it is expected to become the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Japan in two years on Thursday, a weather agency official said Wednesday.
Typhoon Melor caused more than 240 flights to be canceled Wednesday, mainly in Kyushu and western Japan, and a further 260 are expected to be canceled Thursday, according to airlines.
The season's 18th typhoon is likely to make landfall on or around the Kii Peninsula in western Japan on Thursday and travel northward across Honshu Island through Friday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
''It is expected to take a quite dangerous course that will require caution across Japan,'' Akira Murakami, a senior weather forecaster from the agency, said at a press conference.
He warned in particular of damage from strong winds heavy rain, high tides and rough waves.
The government has set up a liaison office at the prime minister's office.
The typhoon was traveling north-northeast at about 230 kilometers south of Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture at a speed of 40 km per hour at 9 p.m. and with a maximum wind velocity of 162 kph around its center, the agency said.
The typhoon, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to Kyushu and western Japan, also affected some train runs on Wednesday.
The last typhoon to make landfall in Japan was in September 2007, the agency said. No typhoon made landfall last year for the first time in eight years.© Wire reports