TOKYO — A strong typhoon is heading toward southern Japan‘s Okinawa islands on a track that could then take it to South Korea.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Thursday that Typhoon Kong-rey has maximum sustained winds of 126 kilometers (78 miles) per hour with gusts up to 180 kph (112 mph). It was heading north at about 20 kph (12 mph).

Some parts of Okinawa and other small southern Japanese islands were already seeing rain, wind and high surf. Many flights were canceled at Okinawa‘s main airport in Naha city.

The typhoon was forecast to pass west of Okinawa‘s main island overnight and continue north Friday toward the Korean Peninsula. It could bring heavy rain as it passes the coast of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan‘s four main islands.