Storm Barijat to devolve into depression as Mangkhut heads for South China Sea

By Xuan Hoa   September 12, 2018 | 04:00 am PT
Storm Barijat to devolve into depression as Mangkhut heads for South China Sea
Satellite image of typhoon Barijat (L) and super typhoon Mangkhut (R). Photo courtesy of VnBaolu
Barijat, currently heading towards northern Vietnam, could weaken into a tropical depression Friday morning, meteorologists say.

As of Wednesday morning, Barijat was approximately 510 kilometers away from China’s Hainan Island to the northeast, with a maximum wind speed of 75kph, according to the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting.

Over the next two days, the typhoon will travel towards Vietnam’s northern coastal provinces from Quang Ninh to Nam Dinh. It is expected to devolve into a tropical depression as it makes landfall Friday morning. Quang Ninh is home to the popular Ha Long Bay and Nam Dinh is two hours south of Hanoi.

The Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has asked relevant authorities to stay in contact with fishing boasts in their jurisdictions as a precaution and ensure safety of residents in storm-prone areas.

Barijat isn’t the only storm brewing in Southeast Asia right now. Super Typhoon Mangkhut, also known as Ompong in the Philippines, is heading towards the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, over the next three days.

Latest reports put Mangkhut’s current maximum wind speed at 269 kph, putting it in category 5 of the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, and it is expected to get even stronger.

Up to 43.3 million people from Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines and China could be affected by the super typhoon, according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Weather forecasters in Vietnam have predicted that four to six typhoons and tropical depressions could develop off the country's east coast from now until the end of the year. Around two to three storms will make landfall in Vietnam and batter the central region, they have said.

Last month, typhoon Bebinca turned into a tropical depression after it made landfall in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, bringing heavy downpours and gusty winds lasting many hours, killing 10 people in the north-central and northern highland regions.

Vietnam was struck by a record-breaking number of 16 tropical storms last year that left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions. Damrey, one of the most destructive storms last year, hit the country in November and killed at least 106 people.

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