A powerful typhoon packing winds of up to 270 kilometres per hour was churning towards Okinawa in southern Japan yesterday, grounding nearly 80 flights. Typhoon Sanba was forecast to make landfall early today, 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 tomorrow afternoon. In Manila, a government meteorologist said despite Sanba moving away from the Philippines, monsoon storms put parts of Manila under 1.8 metres of floodwater, forcing more than 400 people to flee their homes. "Typhoon Sanba has no direct effect but the storm enhanced the southwestern monsoon, so we will continue to experience rains," said meteorologist Gary de la Cruz. Low-lying coastal areas of the capital were hardest hit, forcing people to leave their homes, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said. The Philippines could suffer heavy downpours until Tuesday.