Year's first storm hits South China Sea

By Gia Chinh   May 31, 2024 | 05:13 am PT
Year's first storm hits South China Sea
Satellite image of storm Maliksi. Photo courtesy of the Hong Kong Observatory
A tropical depression in the South China Sea strengthened into a storm on Friday, the first such event the sea region this year.

Storm Maliksi struck a sea region south of China’s Guangdong Province at around 1 p.m. Friday, with maximum wind speeds of 74 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The storm is now moving north-northeast at 15-20 kph, and is expected to enter Guangdong Saturday morning.

Japanese and Hong Kong meteorological agencies also anticipated the storm would enter Guangdong Saturday morning, with wind speeds at around 65 kph.

However, the storm is not expected to affect mainland Vietnam.

Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention on Thursday requested coastal provinces from Quang Ninh in the north to Kien Giang in the southern Mekong Delta to monitor the situation and prepare response measures should the storm make landfall.

The Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration said the storm season is expected to arrive later than usual this year.

But the administration still expected that storms would show up frequently in the September-November period.

Up to 13 storms and tropical depression may appear over the South China Sea this year, with 5-7 of them affecting mainland Vietnam, the administration reported in an announcement.

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