Tropical depression grows into storm en route to southern Vietnam

By Xuan Hoa, Huu Nguyen   November 17, 2018 | 07:40 pm GMT+7
Tropical depression grows into storm en route to southern Vietnam
A Canadian tourist carries his child on the back to go through a flooded road in Saigon after a heavy rain in October this year. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A tropical depression has strengthened into the eighth storm off the eastern coast this year and is on course to move to southern Vietnam.

As of Saturday night, Toraji, as the storm has been internationally named, was spotted around 240 kilometers (149 miles) to the east of the coast of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces in central Vietnam, with wind speeds of up to 75 kilometers per hour.

Over the next 24 hours, the storm is forecast to move westward at 10 kilometers per hour and will be located off the coast of southern and central provinces from Ninh Thuan to Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Sunday afternoon, with wind speed remaining unchanged.

Weather stations have predicted that the storm would continue moving westward after making landfall before weakening into a tropical depression the next day.

On Monday night, the depression will move on to southern provinces, with wind speeds of 50 kilometers per hour.

As a result, heavy rains, gusty winds and roughs seas could hit the southern part of the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, including the waters of of the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands.

Weather experts said southern, south central coastal provinces and the southern part of Central Highlands should expect heavy rainfall of up to 150 millimeters from Saturday night until Monday.

Le Dinh Quyet, a meteorologist from the Southern Hydrometeorological Center, said it is likely that Ba Ria-Vung Tau, around 90 kilometers to the southeast of HCMC, will be directly affected by the tropical depression.

Evacuation

HCMC authorities are preparing to evacuate vulnerable residents to safety as the depression approaches.

Municipal Vice Chairman Le Thanh Liem has instructed authorities, especially Can Gio District, to keep up with the situation and stand ready to stop all fishing boats and ships from setting sail.

In December last year, city leaders ordered a mass evacuation of 5,000 residents in the coastal Can Gio District as Typhoon Tembin hit southern Vietnam.

Vietnam was struck by a record-breaking number of 16 tropical storms in 2017 that left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions.

The General Statistics Office estimated damage at around VND60 trillion ($2.64 billion), 1.5 times the previous year’s figure.

 
 
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