Tropical depression might strengthen into storm off southern Vietnam

By Minh Nga   December 20, 2020 | 11:30 am GMT+7
Tropical depression might strengthen into storm off southern Vietnam
Satellite image of a tropical depression on the South China Sea heading towards southwest Vietnam, December 20, 2020. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
A tropical depression has been formed in the waters off southern Vietnam and may evolve into a storm within Sunday, experts say.

At 7 a.m. Sunday, the center of the depression was around 170 km (106 miles) southeast of Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly Islands) in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea.

In the next 12 hours, it is likely to move towards the west at 10-15 kph and could develop into a storm and grow stronger as it moves, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

By 7 a.m. Monday, the eye of the storm is likely to be around 270 km southwest of the Truong Sa Archipelago as it moves closer to the cape of Ca Mau, the southernmost point of Vietnam in Ca Mau Province. The strongest wind speeds in the area near the eye of the storm is predicted at 60-90 kph.

The tropical depression is expected to trigger waves as high as 5-7 meters in Truong Sa, the center said.

If the depression becomes a storm, it will be the 14th to have entered the East Sea this year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that successive storms, floods and landslides that hit the central region from mid-September to mid-November resulted in 192 deaths, 57 missing and an estimated economic loss of VND30 trillion ($1.29 billion).

 
 
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