photo by Tiffany Key (gu choki pa on Flickr CC)

As powerful Typhoon Roke approaches Japan’s mainland authorities are appealing to 1,3 million residents to evacuate their homes and move to higher ground.

5 people are already believed to be dead from heavy rains, flooding and strong winds, which are set to increase as the typhoon makes landfall in central Japan.

From AFP:

In Nagoya, in central Japan’s Aichi prefecture, officials have advised about one million residents to leave their homes because of fears that rivers might burst their banks.

The storm is expected to move northwards up the coast to Tokyo. So far over 200 domestic flights have been cancelled in Japan. Some train services have also been stopped and factories closed.

Earlier this month tropical storm Talas left 100 in Japan missing or dead.

See the Guardian for more developments on Typhoon Roke as they come in, including video footage of the flooding.