Giant typhoon strengthens on collision course with Vietnam’s north-central coast

By Xuan Hoa   September 14, 2017 | 11:58 am GMT+7

Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri are in the firing line with the hurricane feared the most dangerous one to threaten Vietnam in years.

Typhoon Doksuri is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane and batter Vietnam's north-central coastline from Nghe An to Quang Tri with wind speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour on Friday evening.

A report from the National Center for Hydrometerological Forecasting said the storm has grown considerably in just one day.

It will reach level 13 on the Beaufort scale with wind speeds of 135-150 kph (84-93 mph/73-81 knots) before making landfall at around 4 p.m. on Friday, the report said.

Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri are all in the firing line.

Doksuri, the 10th storm to form in the South China Sea (which Vietnam calls the East Sea) this year, has been described as the strongest and most dangerous storm to threaten Vietnam in recent years. Its destruction could be the worst the country has ever seen.

For the first time, the weather center has raised its alert level to “red”, which signals “very high” risks and is only below the purple alert issued for “disastrous” scenarios.

Waves of more than 10 meters are predicted offshore, while sea levels are likely to rise two to three meters following rainfall of up to 400mm through the weekend, the agency said.

Vietnam has been directly hit by two tropical storms already this year that caused at least nine deaths. Forecasters say the country is likely to feel the impacts of around 15 storms this year.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth ND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.