A wooden house collapsed during strong winds Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Naha, a city on Japan's southern island. Officials advised almost half a million residents to evacuate as Typhoon Neoguri barreled toward the Okinawa island chain.

Typhoon Pummels Japan's Okinawa Islands

Typhoon Neoguri hit the Okinawa island chain Tuesday, killing at least one.

A wooden house collapsed during strong winds Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Naha, a city on Japan's southern island. Officials advised almost half a million residents to evacuate as Typhoon Neoguri barreled toward the Okinawa island chain.

A wooden house collapsed during strong winds Tuesday in Naha, a city on Japan's southern island. Officials advised almost half a million residents to evacuate as Typhoon Neoguri barreled toward the Okinawa island chain.

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Typhoon Neoguri pummeled Japan’s Okinawa island chain on Tuesday with waves up to 46 feet high, killing at least one and prompting officials to advise the evacuation of nearly half a million residents.

The typhoon was downgraded from super typhoon status after it moved away from Okinawa Tuesday night, the Japan Meteorological Agency told The Wall Street Journal.

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“We plan to downgrade the special warnings to regular warnings by tomorrow [Wednesday] morning, but please continue to be careful of strong winds,” Satoshi Ebihara, head of the weather agency, said. 

Sustained winds reached 120 mph on Tuesday and gusts surged up to 148 mph, the weather agency told USA Today.

Reports vary regarding the number of people injured. Four people, including an 83-year-old woman, were injured, according to USA Today. The Journal, however, reported 19 people suffered injuries from the storm.

One man died when waves from the storm overtook his boat, NHK national television said. Officials told the station another man was allegedly found dead, floating in the water near a fishing port. They suspect that he fell overboard while attempting to tie his boat to shore.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, said in a news conference Tuesday that the government didn’t know of any major devastation from the storm, according to the Journal.

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“We will continue to maintain close coordination between ministries and will take all necessary measures to respond to the typhoon,” Suga said.

Hundreds of flights in Japan were canceled and more than 50,000 Okinawa homes lost power, Reuters reported. Additionally, some aircraft were moved from the U.S. military’s Kadena Air Base.

Neoguri, which means “raccoon” in Korean,  is expected to bring heavy rains and winds to the Japanese island of Kyushu on Thursday, the Journal said. By Friday, forecasters predict the typhoon will move to the Tokyo region.