typhoon jebi
High waves triggered by Typhoon Jebi are seen at a fishing port in Aki, Kochi Prefecture, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo, Sept. 4, 2018. Kyodo/via REUTERS

Typhoon Jebi, the most powerful tropical storm to hit Japan in 25 years, made landfall in Tokushima Prefecture in western part of the country early Tuesday. The Meteorological Agency issued warning of heavy rains and strong winds in both the western and eastern regions of the country.

More than 600 flights were canceled and fear of heavy flooding and mudslides prompted evacuation plans for almost 300,000 people. Orders were issued in some areas of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Wakayama prefectures.

The typhoon, which has been categorized as “very strong,” was traveling 37 miles south of Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture, western Japan, at a speed of about 27 miles per hour. The Japan Meteorological Agency said it had sustained winds of 100 miles per hour with gusts to 134 mph.

Kansai Airport in Tajiri was inundated due to the storm surge of Jebi.

Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga reportedly encouraged the public to “evacuate early” and said the government will “take all possible means” for crisis preparedness.

All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. canceled 289 and 180 flights, respectively. In the city of Osaka, the Universal Studios Japan theme park and United States consulate were closed.

Railway operators also halted some services, including on the Tokaido Shinkansen and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. Some expressway sections are also expected to be closed off Tuesday.

Department stores and popular tourist attractions in western Japan including Osaka and Kyoto prefectures decided to close for the day. The typhoon also affected factory operations, including Suntory Holdings Ltd.’s Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture.

In Kyoto, the Kyoto City Zoo, the Kyoto Aquarium, and Nijo Castle were closed.

“We’re not sure yet if we’ll be open on Wednesday. It depends on the typhoon. But for the safety of our visitors, we decided to close today,” Hiromi Kamiguchi, a spokeswoman for Nijo Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site, said Tuesday morning.

The meteorological agency said the typhoon was expected to pass over the Sea of Japan by late Tuesday, and will most likely weaken to an extratropical cyclone by Wednesday morning.