A fire whipped up by strong winds has so far engulfed about 140 buildings in Itoigawa City on the Japan Sea coast.

The fire broke out in a Chinese restaurant at the center of the city in Niigata Prefecture around 10:30 AM on Thursday.

Fanned by strong southerly winds, the fire spread quickly.

As of 4:30 PM, firefighters were still battling with the raging fire. The city has issued an evacuation advisory to about 600 people in 273 nearby households.

Police said a woman in her 40s was taken to hospital after inhaling smoke. Another person suffered a light injury.

Weather officials said gusts of wind at around noon logged up to almost 90 kilometers an hour due to a developing low in the Sea of Japan.

Source: NHK
Image: ANN
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