Storm Sanba forecast to hit Vietnamese waters during Tet holiday

By Xuan Hoa   February 11, 2018 | 07:45 am PT
If Sanba continues on the current course, it will be Vietnam's second storm in 2018.

A tropical depression southeast of the Philippines has strengthened into a storm, and is forecast to head west toward Vietnam in the coming days, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

At 4 p.m. on Sunday, the center of Storm Sanba was about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) east of the Philippines' southern coast with wind speeds of up to 75 kilometers per hour.

Storm Sanbas path as forecast by NCHMF.

Storm Sanba's path as forecast by NCHMF.

Over the next 24 hours, the storm will continue to strengthen and move west at about 30 kilometers per hour. At 4 p.m. on Monday, it is forecast to be 400 kilometers east of the Philippines' southern coast with wind speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour.

The storm is expected to hit southern Philippines on Tuesday before entering the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, on Wednesday evening - one day before Lunar New Year's eve, which marks the start of Vietnam's biggest holiday known as Tet

Given then current forecast, Sanba is set to become the second storm to hit Vietnamese waters this year. 

Bolaven, the first storm in 2018, formed on January 3 and is considered a remnant of last year's storm season. It was forecast to hit southern Vietnam but weakened offshore shortly after entering the East Sea.

Vietnam was hit by 16 tropical storms in 2017. The storms and numerous floods left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions. The disasters caused damage worth around VND60 trillion ($2.64 billion), 1.5 times more than the previous year, according to the General Statistics Office.

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