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A super typhoon described as a “once in decades storm” was heading north for Japan on Monday, set to rake the southern Okinawa island chain with heavy rain and powerful winds before making landfall on Kyushu, Japan’s westernmost main island.

Typhoon Neoguri was already gusting at more than 150 mph and may pick up still more power as it moves north, growing into an “extremely intense” storm by Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

But it was not expected to be as strong as Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in the Philippines last year.

The storm was south of Okinawa but moving northwest at 12 mph with sustained winds of 110 mph, the JMA said on its website, warning of high tides and lashing rain.

“This storm’s characteristic is its strength,” one JMA official said, calling on people in Okinawa to evacuate early and take precautions, including staying indoors…

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