Typhoon Koinu strengthens at sea

By Gia Chinh, Phan Anh   October 7, 2023 | 12:10 am PT
Typhoon Koinu strengthens at sea
Satellite image of typhoon Koinu on the South China Sea, October 7, 2023. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting
Typhoon Koinu has strengthened as it continues to move west in the East Sea on Saturday, with a maximum wind speed at 149 kph.

At around 1 p.m. Saturday, the storm lay centered around 170 km to the southeast of China’s Hong Kong, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. The cyclone was moving west at 5 kph, the center added.

By 1 p.m. Sunday, the storm would continue to move west at 5 kph, and it would be around 150 km to the south of Hong Kong.

By 1 p.m. next Monday, the storm would be moving west-southwest at 5 kph and would be gradually weakening. It would be located around 220 km to the east of China’s Leizhou Peninsula.

By 1 p.m. next Tuesday, the storm would continue to move west-southwest at 10 kph and would continue to weaken. It would be located on the southern coast of the Leizhou Peninsula then.

Several foreign meteorological agencies, like the Hong Kong Observatory and the U.S. Navy, also changed their forecast on the typhoon’s strength. They anticipated that the storm would not dissipate as it gets closer to China’s Hainan Island, but would enter the region between Hainan and Leizhou, before devolving into a tropical depression, then a low-pressure area on the Gulf of Tonkin.

Meteorologists said a cold mass of air from the north is coming down more slowly than expected. If it had come down faster, it would interact with the storm and weaken it. The fact that the storm is moving towards the southern sea regions, where the water is warmer, also gives it more energy.

Experts said the storm is unlikely to affect Vietnam’s mainland. However, on October 10, the Gulf of Tonkin, where several vessels are located, would be impacted by the storm.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention on Thursday has already requested coastal localities from Quang Ninh to Khanh Hoa to monitor the typhoon and prepare measures to respond to it when needed.

Koinu is the fourth storm to enter the South China Sea this year. Meteorological agencies said there would be around 1-2 storms and tropical depressions this month that would affect Vietnam’s mainland.

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