Tropical depression intensifies, storm bears down on northern, central Vietnam

By Vo Hai   July 17, 2018 | 03:02 pm GMT+7

A tropical depression has strengthened into the third storm off Vietnam's eastern coast this year to hit northern and central provinces.

Son Tinh, as the storm has been internationally named, was spotted to the northwest of the Philippines on Tuesday morning before it kept moving west towards Vietnam with wind speeds of 75 kilometers (47 miles) per hour.

It is forecast to be around 350 kilometers off the coast from Hai Phong port city to the north central province of Ha Tinh at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. Winds of up to 75 kph are expected to bring rough water and six-meter waves around the Paracel Islands and the Gulf of Tonkin.

In the next two days, the storm is projected to keep heading west and sweep northern and north central Vietnam before weakening into a tropical depression again. Hanoi is set to be part of the affected area.

A satellite image of Son Tinh as shown by Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting on Tuesday afternoon.

A satellite image of Son Tinh as shown by Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting on Tuesday afternoon.

The storm is the third formed in the South China Sea, which is known in Vietnam as the East Sea, this year.

Both Vietnamese and international weather stations have said that the storm is more likely to head to north and north central regions of the country on Thursday.

Another tropical depression is moving close to the coast of central provinces from Nghe An to Quang Binh with maximum speeds of 50 kph, bringing heavy downpours and gusty winds to the region.

According to weather experts, eight to 10 storms and tropical depressions could hit the East Sea this year.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on Sunday worked with the Steering Committee for Flood Prevention to initiate urgent measures to cope with the approaching season of storms. Relevant agencies have been asked to stay in contact with fishing boats in the jurisdiction as a precaution and ensure safety of residents in storm-hit areas.

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.

Damrey, one of the most destructive storms last year, hit Vietnam in November and killed at least 106 people.

 
 
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