Tropical storm Wipha threatens northern Vietnam

By Vo Hai   July 30, 2019 | 07:50 pm PT
Tropical storm Wipha threatens northern Vietnam
Satellite image shows storm Wipha brewing near northern Vietnam, July 31, 2019. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Hydro - Meteorological Forecasting.
A tropical depression intensified into a tropical storm Wednesday and lay centered 230 kilometers northeast of Vietnam's Paracel Islands.

The storm, internationally named Wipha, is packing winds of 75 kph and expected to move west-northwest at a speed of 15-20 kph, the National Center for Hydro - Meteorological Forecasting said Wednesday.

It is expected to make landfall over China’s Leizhou Peninsula Thursday morning with 90 kph winds before moving west toward northern Vietnam on Friday. The northern port city Hai Phong and the nearby Quang Ninh Province, home to the popular Ha Long Bay, are expected to be directly hit.

AccuWeather said locations from northern Hainan Island to the Leizhou Peninsula may take a direct hit from the storm on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, with a second landfall possible in Guangxi or northern Vietnam.

Vietnam forecast center said the storm would cause downpours between Thursday and Saturday in northern Vietnam, the northern highlands and the north central province of Thanh Hoa.

More than 65,000 Vietnamese boats and ships have been informed of the storm to find necessary refuge.

Vietnam is hit by up to 10 tropical storms during the monsoon season, between July and October.

The country was struck by nine storms last year. Storm Mun hit northern and central provinces last month, killing two in Thanh Hoa Province.

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