Super Typhoon Jebi to hit Japan as 20,000 people ordered to evacuate

The most intense storm of 2018 so far, Super Typhoon Jebi, is barrelling its way towards Japan and 20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

Jebi, a tropical storm with winds of around 260km/h which was upgraded to a super typhoon on Friday, is expected to hit the east coast of Japan by Tuesday (local time).

The typhoon is the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Honshu, the largest Japanese island with a population of 100 million, is directly in Jebi's firing line and 20,000 residents across central and northeastern parts of the country have been ordered to evacuate, reports Newsweek.

Although forecasters expect the typhoon to have weakened to 160 km/h by the time it reaches land, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty said the storm could lead to flooding and severe damage to property.

Well-built homes and businesses may sustain major damage, while widespread power outages and water shortages are also anticipated.

Jebi previously passed the American territory of Guam and pummelled the Northern Mariana Islands, though no deaths have been reported.

Japan has been hit hard recently, with two typhoons and a severe tropical storm in August. Two-hundred people have been killed following torrential rain in July, with landslides destroying homes.