With Storm Nangka set to make landfall over the north-central region on Wednesday afternoon, authorities there have decided to close airports and beaches.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said Vinh Airport in Nghe An Province and Tho Xuan Airport in Thanh Hoa Province would be closed from noon to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.
Vietnam Airlines and Pacific Airlines have announced the cancellation of eight flights to the two places.
In the early hours of Wednesday, Nangka moved over China’s Hainan Island and entered the Gulf of Tonkin with winds of up to 90 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
At 8 a.m. the storm is in the waters from Thai Binh to Nghe An Provinces with winds of 75 kph.
In the next six hours the storm is expected to move west at a speed of 20 kph and weaken into a tropical depression.
The depression is forecast to make landfall in Thai Binh and Nghe An with winds of 60 kph between 3-5 p.m., before weakening further into a low pressure zone over Laos.
The Japan Meteorological Agency and Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), a leading forecaster and mapper of tropical storm activity of London University, also expect Nangka to weaken into a tropical depression before hitting Thai Binh and Nghe An with winds of 63 kph.
The northern delta and provinces such as Hoa Binh, Son La, Phu Tho, and Yen Bai in the northern region and Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh along the north central coast are likely to get rainfall of up to 400 mm a day from Wednesday to Friday. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy.
Nghe An, Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh have ordered the evacuation of fishing boats, fish cages and watch towers to safer areas and banned vessels from going out to sea.
Since Tuesday afternoon Nghe An, known for Cua Lo and other beaches, Thanh Hoa, home to Sam Son Beach, and Hai Phong City, a major port city, have closed all their beaches.
Nangka is the seventh storm to form over the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, this year.
The sixth, Storm Linfa, made landfall last Sunday morning, bringing heavy rains that intensified days of floods in central Vietnam. At least 36 people have been confirmed dead and 12 others are missing.
Natural disasters, mostly floods and landslides triggered by storms, killed 132 people and injured 207 last year.
Reported by Nguyen Quy, @Vnexpress