Typhoon Kalmaegi, the third tropical storm to hit this year, is predicted to make landfall in northern Vietnam early Wednesday morning at the latest, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecast.
Hoang Duc Cuong, the center’s director, said that after slamming into the Philippines and killing 10, the typhoon was around 380km northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands at 4pm on Monday, spitting strong winds of up to 149kph.
The storm is expected to move northwest at 25-30kph and make landfall between Quang Ninh and Hai Phong late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning at the latest.
Quang Ninh may be the hardest hit, according to the center.
The storm will weaken into a depression after it approaches the Vietnam-China border areas, Cuong said.
Cuong said Typhoon Kalmaegi will move very quickly and could dwarf the previous storms of the year.
According to the center, torrential rains will fall in northeastern provinces as a result, starting Tuesday evening.
It warned the provinces to be prepared for landslides and flash floods triggered by the rains.
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai ordered all provinces in the storm's path to cancel unnecessary meetings and focus on storm prevention and control work.
The provincial authorities are required to issue fishing bans for boats and ships and allow school students to stop classes.
Hai asked all provinces to check the number of boats and ships still at sea and call them back to shore, while mountainous provinces were told to step up vigilance in landslide and flood-prone spots.
He ordered at-risk provinces to finish evacuating residents from dangerous areas before 5pm Tuesday.
National Carrier Vietnam Airlines canceled four flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Danang to Hai Phong on Tuesday due to the storm.
The flights will resume Wednesday morning, it said.