Weather officials warned that the rainfall from what could be a record storm would be fierce. Warnings were issued days in advance for people to be ready to take shelter and stock up on food and water.
Several rivers on the main southwestern island of Kyushu were at risk of overflowing, officials said. Public broadcaster NHK TV said evacuation warnings were issued for more than 50,000 people in Okinawa and Kyushu, including Kagoshima and and Nagasaki prefectures.
News footage showed people in Kyushu starting to gather at gymnasiums, before winds gather momentum in the evening. Social distancing will be in place to guard against the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries in Okinawa, home to more than half of the roughly 50,000 U.S. troops based in Japan under a bilateral treaty.
Bullet trains were temporarily halting services, and dozens of flights were canceled. All Nippon Airways said such cancellations will continue Monday and possibly on Tuesday for flights in southern Japan, such as Yamaguchi, Kochi and Fukuoka.
Haishen’s projected course has it hitting the Korean Peninsula later in the week.
Haishen’s course is similar to Typhoon Maysak, which lashed southern Japan last week, injuring dozens of people and cutting power to thousands of homes.
A cargo ship carrying 43 crew members and 5,800 cows from New Zealand capsized off the coast of Japan. Two people were rescued, and one body was recovered. The search has been halted because of Haishen.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama