Storm Noru to approach central Vietnam with winds of 166 km/h
Photo: Storm Noru's predicted course towards central Vietnam. Graphics of Vietnam Disaster Management Authority - e.vnexpress.net
Storm Noru, one of the strongest storms in 20 years, entered the East Sea early on Monday and headed for Da Nang and its neighboring central regions. The storm was 810 km from the Vietnamese Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago at 4 am Monday with a wind speed of 118-149 km/h. According to the National Center for Hydrometeorological Prediction, it will be 410 km from the archipelago at 22:00 Monday and will move at a speed of 20-25 km/h on Tuesday, helped by passing through the warm sea area.
Winds could reach 166 km/h by Tuesday evening, and it will continue to move west and maintain this strength when at 4 am on Wednesday it is about 170 km from the central region, from Da Nang south to Binh Dinh province.
The Japanese meteorological station and the Hong Kong Weather Forecasting Agency also predict that the storm will hit Da Nang and its southern neighbor Quang Nam on Wednesday morning.
In central areas from Quang Binh to Binh Thuan, the evacuation plan for more than 860,000 residents is being reviewed.
Prime Minister Pham Min Chin ordered communities to be prepared for the storm and cancel unnecessary gatherings, ban ships from the sea and allow students to stay at home.
Noru will be the fourth storm to hit the East Sea, known worldwide as the South China Sea, this year and is likely to be the strongest so far.
The storm is said to be similar to Hurricane Xangsane that hit central Vietnam in September 2006, leaving 76 people dead and missing, nearly 350,000 homes and 1,000 ships sunk or damaged.
Meteorologists predict that after Noru, 3-5 storms will hit the East Sea, of which one or two will directly affect Vietnam.