Storm Saudel bears down on flooded central Vietnam

By Nguyen Quy, Gia Chinh   October 22, 2020 | 07:03 pm PT
Storm Saudel bears down on flooded central Vietnam
Houses in Ha Tinh Province are submerged under floodwater following prolonged heavy rains, October 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung.
Vietnamese and international weather agencies say Storm Saudel is heading toward central Vietnam and flood-hit provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri.

At 7 a.m. Friday it lay centered around 320 kilometers east of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, with winds of up to 150 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

In the next 24 hours it is forecast to move west at a speed of 15 kph and lie north of the Paracel Islands at around 7 a.m. Saturday and around 240 kilometers from the coast of Ha Tinh-Quang Tri provinces by 4 a.m. Sunday. By then its winds will fall to a maximum of 90 kph.

It is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by the time it approaches the coast of Ha Tinh - Quang Tri on Sunday night, and weaken further into a low pressure area.

A U.S. Navy notification said the storm packs winds of 145 kph and would weaken into a tropical depression on Sunday. The Japan Meteorological Agency expected its wind speed to fall to 80 kph on Sunday.

They all forecast provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri, now reeling from prolonged heavy rains, historic flooding and deadly landslides, to be affected by the storm.

For more than two weeks the central region has suffered damage described by government officials as the worst in five years.

At least 117 people had been killed and 21 others were missing as of Thursday.

Saudel is the eighth storm in the East Sea this year, and follows Linfa and Nangka earlier this month.

Vietnam is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline. Last year they killed 132 people and injured 207 others.

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