Hagupit, a tropical storm devastating parts of the Philippines through Monday, is forecast to enter the East Sea Tuesday morning, stirring water off south central Vietnam.
The storm is expected to eventually target Vietnam late this week, according to an meteorologist at AccuWeather.com.
Border guards from Quang Nam Province to Khanh Hoa Province, which includes Nha Trang, have been calling 32,451 fishing boats in the area, with 140,251 crewmen on board, to find shelters.
Officials from the Flood and Storm Prevention Steering Committee on Monday visited the south central region and the Central Highlands to check local preparation for the storm.
At 11 a.m. Monday, the storm was spotted above the central Philippines carrying winds of 89 to 117 kilometers per hour, according to Vietnam’s National Center for Hydrometeorology Forecasting.
The storm will be moving at around 10-15 kmp to the west-northwest and enter the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea) early on Tuesday and weaken, with winds of 75 to 102 kph, the center said.
But then it will combine with a cold spell on Wednesday to cause severe rough water and tornadoes along Vietnam’s coastline, especially the south central region.
Photo credit: AccuWeather
Meteorologists at AccuWeather.com said Vietnam should pay close attention to the path and strength of the storm.
"Hagupit will track slowly across the South China Sea through the week and potentially make landfall on the southern coast of Vietnam towards the end of the week," said meteorologistAnthony Sagliani.
Hagupit may maintain strength as tropical storm, the AccuWeather.com report said.
"The weakened Hagupit will place heavy rain in the forefront of the threats it could bring to Vietnam, but locally gusty winds cannot be ruled out at this point. The greatest threat for life threatening impacts are expected between the cities of Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh," the report suggested.
Fishermen in Da Nang pack up with nets as they came back shore to avoid typhoon Hagupit. Photo: Nguyen Tu
Hagupit, which means “whip” in Filipino, reached Super Typhoon status with sustained winds near 240 kph.
But it was much weaker with a 125 kmp peak sustained wind Saturday night when it hit Samar province, just to the south of Tacloban, which is yet to recover from last year’s category 5 super typhoon Haiyan.
At least 21 people were reported dead, many of them drowned as flood waters rose in Borongan, the main town in Eastern Samar, where typhoon Hagupit made first landfall, Reuters quoted the Philippine National Red Cross as saying today Monday.
Around a million people had been evacuated to safer ground before the storm with rising fear of another Haiyan.
Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded on land, left more than 7,000 dead or missing and more than four million homeless or with damaged houses when it tore through the central Philippines in November 2013, according to Reuters.
Typhoon Haiyan also left 14 people dead in northern and central Vietnam.