Flights cancelled as Typhoon Tapah approaches Japan

Japan is bracing for a second strong typhoon this month

Typhoon Tapah approached southwestern Japan Sunday, with heavy rain and strong winds grounding hundreds of regional flights.

Tapah, with gusts up to 162 kilometres (100 miles) per hour, was expected to draw near Nagasaki prefecture overnight, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

It was on course to travel through the channel between Japan and the Korean Peninsula before moving toward northern Japan on Monday, when it is expected to weaken and be downgraded, the agency said.

The storm prompted cancellations of more than 400 domestic flights, according to national broadcaster NHK.

"Serious caution is warranted for violent winds, high waves and landslides," said Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency in a statement.

So far the typhoon has caused 21 minor injuries, mostly in a southern island region of Okinawa that was hit by the storm earlier.

Evacuation advisories have been issued to more than 2,000 regional residents, according to the disaster management agency.

Tapah follows on the trail of Typhoon Faxai, which barrelled through Tokyo earlier this month, packing record winds that brought down power lines, caused travel chaos and disrupted Rugby World Cup preparations.

It resulted in a lengthy blackout on the outskirts of Tokyo that left tens of thousands of people without power for more than a week.