Tokyo - Typhoon Talas was making its way across western Japan on Saturday bringing heavy rains and packing strong winds, the country's meteorological agency said.

Two people died, five were missing and 65 were injured in weather-related accidents in central and western Japan as the typhoon made landfall on the south-western island of Shikoku earlier in the day, broadcaster NHK said.

A woman died after being swept away by a swollen river in Matsuyama city on Shikoku, while a 73-year-old man was killed by a mudslide in Nara prefecture, local media reported.

The agency warned of flooding, mudslides and high waves in many areas of the country.

Authorities urged hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate in western Japan. In Okayama and Himeji cities alone, some 280,000

residents were told to leave their home as rivers might overflow their banks.

Officials said the storm had sustained winds of 108 kilometres per hour and gusts of 144 kilometres per hour.

The season's 12th typhoon was travelling northward slowly around Kurashiki city in Okayama prefecture as of 7 pm (1000 GMT), the agency said.

More than 700 homes were inundated in eastern and western Japan and about 9,500 households in nine prefectures suffered from power outage, NHK reported.

More than 400 flights had been canceled Saturday, affecting about 34,000 people.

Rainfall of up to 500 millimetres was forecast for the Kinki area and up to 400 millimetres for the Tokai region through Sunday evening, the agency said. - Sapa-dpa