Storm Goni changes direction, south central Vietnam now in its path

By Nguyen Quy   November 2, 2020 | 06:18 pm PT
Storm Goni has changed course and, instead of moving northwest as forecast, is heading southwest and is expected to make landfall over the south central coast.

At 7 a.m. on Tuesday it lay centered around 400 kilometers southeast of Vietnam's Paracel Islands in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, with winds of up to 75 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

It is expected to move at a speed of 10 kph, and by Wednesday morning move closer to the Paracels.

By Thursday morning it will be around 160 kilometers off the coast of the mainland between Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa with winds of 90 kph.

It is expected to make landfall between Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa, the latter home to the famous beach resort town of Nha Trang, before weakening into a tropical depression.

International forecasting agencies expect the storm to directly affect Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces, also home to several beloved beaches.

Da Nang and Quang Nam, to the north of Quang Ngai, are not directly threatened by the storm unlike forecast earlier.

Goni had swept across the Philippines' main island of Luzon on Sunday, leaving at least 20 people dead and causing volcanic mudflows to bury houses, Reuters reported.

It had been dubbed a "super typhoon" when it reached the Philippines, packing sustained winds of up to 225 kph.

Goni is the 10th storm to hit Vietnamese waters this year. There were four storms and one tropical depression in the central region in October alone, the same as in 1993 and the highest number in the country’s recorded meteorological history.

Historic flooding and landslides left at least 159 dead and 71 others missing last month.

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