Storm Conson to strengthen as it heads towards Vietnam: experts

By Phan Anh, Gia Chinh, Tat Dinh   September 9, 2021 | 07:37 pm GMT+7
Storm Conson to strengthen as it heads towards Vietnam: experts
Satellite image of storm Conson on the South China Sea, September 9, 2021. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting
Storm Conson, the fifth to form in the South China Sea this year, could gather strength as it moves west from its current location towards Vietnam, meteorologists say.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, the storm was located around 450 km east-southeast of Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands with a maximum wind speed of 90 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Predicting the storm’s trajectory over the next five days, the center said it was likely to get stronger during this period. Over the next 24 hours, the storm would move west at 15 kph and at around 4 p.m. Friday, be directly above the eastern sea region of the Paracel Islands with a maximum wind speed of 115 kph.

Within the next 48 hours, it would maintain its direction at 5-10 kph and at 4 p.m. Saturday, reach directly above the Paracel Islands with a maximum wind speed of 120 kph, the center predicts.

Moving west-northwest at the same speed over the next 72 hours, it would hover around 230 km west-northwest of the Paracel Islands with a maximum wind speed of 20 kph, the center said.

After five days or 120 hours, the storm would be moving northwest at 10 kph with diminished strength.

The center has warned of strong winds and rough seas.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said Thursday that localities from Ha Giang to Ha Tinh have prepared plans to evacuate around 766,000 people ahead of the storm. Localities in mountainous areas in northern Vietnam, prone to flash floods and landslides, are also expected to evacuate over 154,000 people.

Nguyen Dinh Hung, head of the search and rescue division of the border security force, said authorities have informed around 71,500 vessels and over 349,000 people about the storm's trajectory so they could avoid it.

After Conson, the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, should expect another 6-8 storms and tropical depressions this year, with 2-4 of them directly affecting Vietnam, meteorologists said.

 
 
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