Massive typhoon on course to smash into Vietnam

By Pham Huong   October 16, 2016 | 04:43 am PT
Typhoon Sarika could add more chaos to the country's drowning central region.

The strongest typhoon to hit Vietnam in years is expected to sweep past China’s Hainan Island on Tuesday and enter the Gulf of Tonkin the next day before hitting Vietnam, reports from a number of regional forecasting stations show.

Typhoon Sarika may be one of the strongest typhoons to hit Vietnam in recent years, Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center, said on Sunday.

Cuong said the typhoon may hit either Vietnam’s northern delta region or its northern central region.

The country’s northeast and the northern central region are expected to experience heavy downpours during the typhoon, the center said.

As of 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, the typhoon, the seventh to hit the region this year, was 620km east of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 150kph.

In the next 24 hours, Sarika is expected to head west at speeds of 20kph, according to a report from the center released at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The typhoon is forecast to cause rough seas and strong winds in the Gulf of Tonkin from Monday night.

A forecasting image about typhoon Sakira from Hong Kong Observatory on October 16, 2016

Typhoon Sarika's projected path released by the Hong Kong Observatory on October 16.

Severe floods caused by heavy downpours and sudden releases from hydropower reservoirs in central Vietnam in recent days have left at least 21 people dead, 8 missing and many injured.

Vietnam is hit by an average of eight to 10 tropical storms between July and October every year, which often cause heavy material and human losses.

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Typhoon Sarika enters South China Sea

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