Tropical depression bears down on Vietnam's central coast

By Xuan Hoa   October 9, 2017 | 11:45 am GMT+7
Tropical depression bears down on Vietnam's central coast
Vehicles on a flooded road in Hue after a heavy rain in July. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

Rough seas and heavy rain are forecast for central and northern parts of the country over the next couple of days.

A tropical depression with wind speeds of around 50 kilometers (31 miles) per hour is forecast to make landfall in Da Nang and surrounding areas along Vietnam’s central coast on Monday night.

The National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting said the depression is picking up speed and will hit Da Nang and neighboring Hue, Quang Tri and Quang Binh at around 7 p.m.

More than 300 kilometers of coastline will be directly affected, and locals have been asked to watch out for thunderstorms and rough seas around major tourist attractions such as the Cham and Ly Son islands.

Heavy downpours are forecast over the entire central region for a couple of days. Rainfall of 150-200 mm is likely to drench popular tourist destinations in Da Nang and Hue, as well as Vietnam’s cave kingdom Quang Binh, according to weather forecasters.

The depression, which will also bring rain to Hanoi and some northern provinces, is expected to continue on its course to Thailand where it will weaken.

Da Nang, widely considered the third most important city in Vietnam after Hanoi and Saigon, will host the APEC Summit with world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping expected to attend next month.

Vietnam has already suffered destructive stormy weather this year. Floods in northern Vietnam killed at least 26 people and washed away hundreds of homes in August before Typhoon Doksuri, the strongest to hit the country in years, killed at least eight people in the central region last month.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth ND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.