Powerful typhoon on course to hit Japan's Okinawa

A powerful typhoon packing winds of up to 270 kilometres (170 miles) per hour was churning towards Okinawa in southern Japan on Saturday, grounding nearly 80 flights, officials said.

Typhoon Sanba, located in the Pacific about 310 kilometres south of Okinawa at 0700 GMT, was forecast to make landfall early on Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

It was expected to move over the East China Sea and reach a strait between the Korean peninsula and Japan's main island of Kyushu on Monday afternoon.

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines cancelled a total of 76 flights to and from Okinawa, affecting 17,000 passengers, airline officials said.

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