About 1.3 million people in central Japan have been urged to leave their homes as a typhoon approaches Tuesday, accompanied by heavy rains and flooding believed to have claimed the lives of a boy and elderly man.

Police in Gifu prefecture say a nine-year-old boy and an 84-year-old man are missing.

The recommended or ordered evacuations in central Japan due to Typhoon Roke include 80,000 people in Nagoya.

The heavy rain caused floods and road damage in dozens of locations in Nagoya and several other cities, the Aichi prefecture said.

Television footage showed Nagoya residents wading through water up to their knees. In parts of the city near swollen rivers, rescue workers helped residents evacuate from the area in rubber boats.

The severe weather has prompted some airlines to warn travellers of possible flight disruptions. For instance, Air Canada says Tokyo-bound flights or connections through various airports may be delayed or cancelled.

The Meteorological Agency says the typhoon was located near the southern island of Tanegashima on Tuesday afternoon and could reach the Tokyo area by Wednesday afternoon.

CNN says the storm is packing winds of 185 km/h.

Earlier this month, a typhoon that hit Japan left some 90 people dead or missing.

With files from The Associated Press