Japan warns of heavy rain, winds as Tropical Storm Chanthu nears Tokyo

Pedestrians use umbrellas as they cross the street at a crosswalk in the rain in Tokyo on Aug 16, 2016.
Pedestrians use umbrellas as they cross the street at a crosswalk in the rain in Tokyo on Aug 16, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Authorities in Japan on Tuesday (Aug 16) issued heavy rain and strong wind warnings as a tropical storm swirled towards the country's heavily populated eastern coast, urging caution over possible flooding.

Tropical Storm Chanthu, packing wind speeds of up to 108 kph, was several hundred kilometres southeast of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday evening, the meteorological agency said.

On its current track it may make landfall in eastern Japan, including Chiba prefecture, southeast of Tokyo, early Wednesday morning before heading through the Tohoku region of northern Japan, the agency said.

The storm was expected to affect a wide area, the agency said, cautioning the public to prepare for strong winds and flooding.

It rained intermittently in Tokyo from Tuesday afternoon but there were no reports of injuries or damages due to the approaching storm.