First typhoon of the year to hit northern Vietnam tonight

By Giang Chinh   July 26, 2016 | 08:25 pm PT
First typhoon of the year to hit northern Vietnam tonight
The satellite image of Tropical Storm Mirinae spreading over Hainan Island, China. Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Northern provinces are battening down the hatches with heavy rain expected.

A tropical low pressure system detected in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam) has been upgraded to a tropical storm, internationally known as Mirinae, and is currently 230 kilometers to the southeast of the northern provinces of Thai Binh and Ninh Binh, reported Vietnam’s weather forecasting agency.

Mirinae, the first to hit Vietnam this year, is moving northwest at speeds of 15-20 kilometer per hour, and is expected to make landfall in Hai Phong and Thanh Hoa at 7 p.m.

"The storm will cross the Northern Delta over the evening, where it is expected to weaken to a low pressure system," the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said.

Although Mirinae is rated as a small-scale tropical storm, it is expected to cause heavy rain in many parts of northern Vietnam. Hanoi and other provinces have been told to prepare for heavy rain and possible flooding.

Hai Phong authorities have issued an urgent warning asking all boats and fishermen to come ashore before the storm hits and urged local agencies and other units to be ready for the storm, said Deputy Chairman of Hai Phong Le Khac Nam on July 26.

Local border guard forces announced that they have informed 2,500 vessels and 7,800 offshore workers along with thousands of other workers about the path of the storm.

The Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Relief has warned coastal localities of possible high seas and strong winds while asking northern provinces to prepare for heavy rains, flooding and rock slides.

Vietnam is hit by an average of eight to 10 tropical storms between July and October every year, which often cause heavy material and human losses.

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