The strongest typhoon to reach Tokyo in 10 years was expected to slam into the region with full force Wednesday morning, the Meteorological Agency said.
The agency warned of strong winds, high waves and heavy rainfall in wide areas from western to northern Japan, cautioning against extensive transportation disruptions during the morning rush hour.
Generating winds of at least 90 kph as far as 240 km to the east and 190 km to the west of its center, Typhoon Wipha, the 26th of the year, was as powerful as the strong typhoon that crossed the eastern tip of Japan in October 2004, the agency said.
As of 6 p.m., Wipha was traveling north-northeast over the Pacific toward the eastern coast of Honshu at a speed of about 40 kph.
It was expected to bring up to 400 mm of rain in the 24 hours through noon Wednesday in the Tokai region surrounding Nagoya as well as 300 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region and 250 mm in the Kinki, Tohoku and Hokuriku regions.
The Meteorological Agency said it expected winds of up to 126 kph in the Kanto region in eastern Japan, the Izu Islands south of Tokyo and Hokkaido through Wednesday.
The agency forecast waves of 12 meters high in Kanto and the Izu Islands, and 10 meters high in the Tohoku and Tokai regions.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it was bracing for the storm to hit the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which has seen a rash of radioactive water spills in recent months as it tries to keep its melted reactor cores cool.
“We are making preparations for proper management of contaminated water. . . . We will patrol places that could have inflows of water (from the storm),” a Tepco spokesman said.