Storm Pabuk set to deliver heavy rain, strong winds in southern Vietnam

By Staff reporters   January 2, 2019 | 01:50 am PT
Storm Pabuk set to deliver heavy rain, strong winds in southern Vietnam
Satellite image of Storm Pabuk off southern Vietnam on Wednesday morning by the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
Vietnam is set to experience heavy rainfall and strong winds as Pabuk hovers off the southern coast.

As of Wednesday, Pabuk was stationed around 360 kilometers (223 miles) to the southeast of Con Dao Island off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, with wind speeds of up to 75 kilometers per hour.

Over the next 24 hours, the storm is expected to move west-northwest at 15 kilometers per hour. At 1 p.m. Thursday, the center of the storm will be around 220 kilometers to the southeast of Ca Mau Province in Vietnam's southern tip, with wind speeds of 90 kilometers per hour.

Pabuk is projected to move south and cross Ca Mau tip but not make landfall in Vietnam.

Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said the storm will trigger heavy downpours and strong winds in coastal areas from the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau to Ca Mau.

The rainfall in southeast region, including Ho Chi Minh City, is likely to range from 40 to 80 mm, while Mekong Delta provinces such as Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang can expect rainfall of up to 200mm. Rainfall of above 180mm a day is considered heavy.

Central provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Binh Thuan should expect heavy rainfall of up to 100 mm while coastal provinces like Quang Nam, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen will be battered by strong downpours, weather experts said. The region is home to popular resort towns Hoi An, Hue and Mui Ne.

Flood warnings have been issued for rivers from Thua Thien-Hue to Ninh Thuan provinces, and landslides are also forecast along rivers and low-lying areas.

Storm preparations

The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention has asked local authorities to stay in contact with 76,000 ships and fishing boats in their jurisdiction as a precaution and ensure safety of residents in storm-hit areas.

Southern provinces such as Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Ben Tre, Kien Giang, home to the famous Phu Quoc Island and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, home to Vung Tau beach town and Con Dao Island, have told all fishing boats not to head out to sea and called for the ships offshore to move to safer areas.

Two fishing boats sank off the coast of Ba Ria-Ving Tau Province on Wednesday, but no human casualties have been reported.

The new storm has formed just weeks after Usagi, the ninth and last storm to hit Vietnam in 2018, prompted Saigon and the entire southern region to close schools and undertake mass evacuations.

Vietnam was struck by 13 typhoons and tropical depressions in 2018.

A report from the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control released late last week said natural disasters, mostly flooding, tropical storms and landslides, killed 181 people and left 37 others missing in 2018.

The disasters caused damage worth around VND20 trillion ($858 million), three times lower than last year’s figure of VND60 trillion ($2.6 billion).

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