Storm Kirogi heads toward south-central Vietnam

By Huu Nguyen   November 17, 2017 | 10:54 pm GMT+7

The new storm is expected to make landfall in south-central coast and affect Saigon on Sunday.

A tropical depression has strengthened into the 14th storm of the year after entering the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, on Saturday morning.

Storm Kirogi is forecast to hit the south-central provinces, from Khanh Hoa, which is still recovering from Typhoon Damrey, to Binh Thuan, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

ap-thap-thanh-bao-so-14-lai-uy-hiep-nam-trung-bo

At 5 a.m. on Saturday, the storm was east of the Spratly Islands with wind speeds of up to 75 kilometers (47 miles) per hour.

Over the next 24 hours, the storm will move move west-northwest at 25 kph as is expected to continue to gain strength. 

By 4 a.m. on Sunday, the storm would be 150 km east of Khanh Hoa-Binh Thuan coast with wind speeds of up to 90 kph.

After making landfall in the south-cetral coast, the storm will weaken into a tropical depression. By the time in crosses over to southern Cambodia on Monday morning, its maximum speeds will be under 40 kph.

While forecasters say the storm is unlikely to directly hit Ho Chi Minh City, strong winds and rains of 15-20 millimeters are expected.

The city's authorities on Friday held an emergency meeting to discuss the incoming storm. At the meeting, its top leaders instructed local officials to be on high alert and be ready to evacuate residents on Thanh An Island and those living in temporary shelters.

Vietnam has been suffering from destructive stormy weather once again this year. Typhoon Damrey, which made landfall in the central region two weeks ago, killed more than 100 people and damaged or destroyed over 100,000 houses. Deadly floods last month also killed more than 80 people and washed away hundreds of homes.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.