Storm Linfa to compound woes for flooded central Vietnam

By Gia Chinh   October 10, 2020 | 05:34 pm PT
Storm Linfa to compound woes for flooded central Vietnam
Satellite image of storm Linfa off Vietnam's central coast, October 11, 2020. Photo by the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Storm Linfa is heading straight for central Vietnam, a region that has already been reeling under severe flooding for days.

Developing from a tropical depression, as of 7:40 a.m. Sunday, the storm was 170 km (106 miles) from Binh Dinh Province and 240 km from Quang Nam Province with winds of 60 to 75 kilometers per hour, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

The center said the storm is poised to make landfall from Quang Nam to Binh Dinh at around 4 p.m. Sunday with winds gusting to 75 kph before weakening into a tropical depression and moving to Laos.

Weather forecasting centers in Japan and Hong Kong have made similar predictions, saying the storm would make landfall today in central Vietnam with winds of around 65 kph.

Heavy rains are expected in central Vietnam until Tuesday, with total rainfall of 500-700 mm or higher in localities from Thua Thien-Hue to Quang Nam, up to 600 mm in Quang Tri and Quang Ngai, up to 500 mm in Quang Binh, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, and up to 300 mm in the southern part of Ha Tinh as well as the northern part of the Central Highlands. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.

In the next ten days, the central region should be prepared for two more tropical depressions that would bring more rains and resulting in more flooding, the meteorologists have said.

They had said earlier that by the end of this year, four-six tropical depressions or storms would develop in the East Sea and at least two would make landfall in Vietnam.

Since the middle of this week, the entire central region and some Central Highlands provinces have been hit by torrential rains, causing serious flooding. In some areas, houses have been submerged almost four meters under water. At least eight people have died, seven are missing and 20,000 have been evacuated from their homes.

Linfa is the sixth storm to form in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, so far this year.

Storm Noul, the fifth one to form this year in the East Sea, killed six people last month.

Natural disasters, mostly floods and landslides triggered by storms, killed 132 people and injured 207 others in Vietnam last year.

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