Tropical Storm Saudel has lashed the Philippines, causing flooding and thousands of residents to evacuate, officials said on Wednesday, with the storm now heading for Vietnam where more than 100 people have already died in weeks of bad weather.
Vietnam is now in Saudel’s path with the storm expected to hit the country at full strength when it reaches the Paracels Islands in the East Sea of Vietnam, the country’s disaster agency said, adding that the death toll from weeks-long floods and landslides had risen to 111, with 22 still missing, according to local media.
At around 10 a.m. Friday, Saudel would lie around 280 kilometers to the east-southeast of Paracel Islands, with a maximum wind speed of 115 kph, VNExpress reported.
Japan Meteorological Agency said Saudel’s maximum wind speed on Wednesday reached 65 kph and would rise to 108 kph the same day. The storm’s maximum wind speed on Friday is forecast to reach 150 kph.
Hong Kong Observatory predicted Saudel’s maximum wind speed at 120 kph on Saturday.
The national weather forecast center predicted the storm would make landfall in Ha Tinh Province in north central Vietnam on Monday morning, packing winds of 75 kph, national broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV) reported.
The East Sea could see 11-13 storms and tropical depressions this year, half of them affecting Vietnam, meteorologists have warned.