Strong Typhoon Sweeps Southern Japan, Heads to Koreas

TOKYO (AP) -- A powerful typhoon blew over Japan's southernmost islands on Tuesday and was headed toward the country's main southern island and the Korean Peninsula.

More than 20,000 homes were left without electricity, according to Okinawa Electric Power Co. As of noon, Typhoon Maysak had already traveled past the area around Okinawa, home to U.S. military bases, but warnings continued to be issued about strong gusts that could cause homes to collapse. Extremely high tides were a risk as well.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency had said earlier that Maysak was expected to later make landfall on Kyushu, Japan's main southern island, but its course appeared to be swerving away. Still, its passing close by could bring strong winds and rain.

The storm is on course to hit South Korea by Thursday. A typhoon that hit the Korean Peninsula last week caused scattered minor damage in both Koreas.

Maysak was packing maximum winds of 180 kilometers (112 miles) per hour at its center by midday, the meteorological agency said.

Japan's southern islands are often been hit by mudslides and flooding during typhoon season.