Storm Molave entered the East Sea Monday morning and is expected to pack winds of 150 kph before making landfall near Da Nang in the next few days.
At around 8 a.m. on Monday the storm lay centered around 650 km east-northeast of Southwest Cay islet, with winds of 135 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Over the next 24 hours it will move west at 20-25 kph and gradually intensify. At around 7 a.m. on Tuesday it will be 270 km to the north of Southwest Cay with winds of up to 150 kph.
For the next 48 hours it will remain on course and reach the area of sea between Da Nang and Phu Yen at around 7 a.m. Wednesday. It will continue to pack winds of 150 kph.
In 72 hours, moving at around 20 kph, it will make landfall between Da Nang and Phu Yen, before weakening into a tropical depression.
At around 7 a.m. on Thursday Molave will reach southern Laos with a maximum wind speed of 50 kph.
The Japan Meteorological Agency expects Molave to strengthen as it approaches the Vietnamese coast, and have winds of up to 144 kph from 7 p.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Wednesday, before weakening into a tropical depression by 7 a.m. Thursday.
It forecast the storm to reach Vietnamese shores at around 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The Hong Kong Observatory predicts the wind speed to increase to 165 kph by 7 a.m. Tuesday before decreasing to 145 kph by 7 a.m. Wednesday when it closes in on Vietnam. It will weaken into a low-pressure area by 7 a.m. Thursday.
Rough seas and strong winds can be expected in some parts of the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, within the next 24 hours, according to the center.
Molave forced nearly 9,000 people in the Philippines to flee their homes as it made landfall on Sunday with heavy rains and strong winds, Reuters reported.
The Philippine disaster monitoring agency said it had received reports of damaged roads and bridges, flooding and landslides in some areas, but there have been no casualties.
With Molave, Vietnam would be affected by four storms and a tropical depression this month.
At least 130 had been killed by floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains between October 6 and 25 in the central region.
Reported by Phan Anh, @Vnexpress