Tropical storm Hagupit is headed for southern Vietnam and was about 340 km east-northeast of the Song Tu Tay (Southwest Cay) Island of Vietnam’s Spratly Islands as of 10 a.m. local time this morning.
The storm brought sustained winds between 62 kph and 80 kph with gusts up to 133 kph, according to the National Center for Hydrometeorology Forecasting.
In the next 24 hours, Hagupit will head west and possibly west-southwest, and may strengthen, the center said.
It is forecast to be about 230 km east of the coasts of Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan Provinces at 10 a.m. of Thursday (Dec.11).
Hagupit, which made landfall as a powerful typhoon in the Philippines late Saturday, destroyed nearly 16,500 houses and damaged more than 33,100 on the island of Samar before making its way slowly across the country.
It has since been weakened into a tropical storm, due in part to interaction with the Philippines' numerous islands, some of which are very mountainous.
Even so, Vietnam should pay close attention to the path and strength of the storm, according to AccuWeather.com meteorologists.
"Hagupit will track slowly across the South China Sea through the week and make landfall on the southern coast of Vietnam towards the end of the week," AccuWeather.com quoted meteorologist Anthony Sagliani as saying.
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,” according to AccuWeather.
“The greatest threat for life-threatening impacts are expected between the cities of Hue and Ho Chi Minh,” the website said.