Half a million people have been urged to evacuate Okinawa Prefecture and the chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, Keiji Furuya, has told people to “take refuge as early as possible”.

Fisherman have been told to return to port, and airports and schools have been closed. Some residents have been told to stay in their homes, but those in low-lying areas have been urged to relocate to safer areas.

So far, casualties are minimal – according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, one woman has injured her head and a fisherman is missing.

Because the storm is closely following typhoon season, the ground is saturated, and will not be able to absorb the excess water. It is thought that it will reach Tokyo later on this week.

Image credit: Getty