Storm Phanfone set to hit East Sea Wednesday night

By Phan Anh   December 25, 2019 | 05:44 pm GMT+7
Storm Phanfone set to hit East Sea Wednesday night
Satellite image of storm Phanfone, December 25, 2019. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Storm Phanfone is expected to reach the East Sea Wednesday night, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

If it does, it would be the eighth storm to hit the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, this year.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the storm's center was located directly above the central regions of the Philippines, with maximum wind speeds of between 115 and 135 kph.

In the next 24 hours, the storm is expected to move west-northwest at about 15-20 kph, and hit the East Sea within this time frame. Phanfone’s center is expected to be around 420 km to the east-northeast of the Southwest Cay Islet by 1 p.m. Thursday, with a maximum wind speed of between 115 and 135 kph, the center added.

In the following 24 to 48 hours, the storm will continue to move west-northwest at about 10 kph, with a maximum wind speed of between 100 and 135 kph.

After hitting the East Sea Wednesday night, the storm is expected to devolve into a tropical depression Saturday, said Tran Quang Nang with the national weather forecasting center.

The Border Guard Command has instructed its forces to inform fishermen and vessels of the incoming storm and advise them to evacuate in time.

The Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has also requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send diplomatic notes to neighboring countries and territories to seek their cooperation in allowing Vietnamese vessels to take shelter from the storm.

Storm Phanfone, known in the Philippines as Ursula, has destroyed homes, cut off power and stranded travelers in the country, Reuters reported. More than 4,000 people have been evacuated in the Eastern Visayas region, although no deaths have been reported, it added.

Vietnam is hit by around 10 tropical storms every year. There were nine last year.

 
 
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