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|Storm Noul is the fifth formed in the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea) this year. Photo: baotainguyenmoitruong|
A tropical depression in the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea) has intensified into a tropical storm, becoming the fifth storm to affect Vietnam so far this year, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
On early September 16, storm Noul was located 750 kilometres to the southeast of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, sustaining winds of 60-75 kilometres near its centre.
The storm is forecast to move north-northwest in the next 24 hours at a speed of 15 kilometres per hour and keep strengthening as it tracks towards Vietnam’s central coast.
|The path of storm Noul. Photo: National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.|
Due to the tropical storm, the central area of the South China Sea will see very rough waters and strong winds, reaching above 100 kilometres per hour.
The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on September 15 warned localities along the central coast, including major tourist destinations like Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Mui Ne, to keep a close watch on the storm's movement to instruct vessels to leave areas of high risk and prepare to evacuate people.
Noul is expected to reach the waters off the coast of provinces from Quang Tri to Quang Nam on September 18 morning, packing winds of up to 135 kilometres per hour and gusts of over 150 kilometres per hour.
The storm is then projected to make landfall between Quang Binh and Da Nang, raising the disaster risk alert to red, the fourth level on a scale of five.
|Coastal localities have been urged to keep a close watch on the storm's movement to instruct vessels to leave areas of high risk and prepare to evacuate people. Photo: congdoan|
Storm Noul is the fifth formed this year in the South China Sea. The fourth storm, Higos, hit last month, making landfall in China.
Natural disasters like droughts, floods and landslides killed 133 people in Vietnam last year and caused losses worth around VND7 trillion ($302.6 million), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said.
In the first half of this year they claimed 47 lives and caused losses worth VND3.3 trillion.
The South China Sea could see 11-13 storms and tropical depressions this year, half of them affecting the country, meteorologists have warned./.
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