Storm Saudel weakens as it approaches central Vietnam
At 1 p.m. Saturday, Saudel is about 110 km to the north of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands, with a maximum wind speed of 100 kph. Its maximum wind speed recorded at 7 a.m. was 115 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Within the next 24 hours, the storm would move west at about 20 kph. By 1 p.m. Sunday, it would be about 180 km to the east of central Vietnam from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri Provinces, with a maximum wind speed of 75 kph.
Within the next 24 to 36 hours, the storm would maintain its direction at a speed of 15-20 kph. It is projected to make landfall on localities between Ha Tinh and Quang Tri within this time frame, before devolving into a tropical depression and eventually a low-pressure area. By 1 p.m. Monday, the low-pressure area would be above central Laos, with a maximum speed of under 40 kph.
Japan Meteorological Agency expects Saudel to weaken as it approaches Vietnam, going from a maximum wind speed of 108 kph at 10 a.m. Saturday to 89 kph at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Hong Kong Observatory holds the same prediction, anticipating Saudel’s maximum wind speed would reduce from 105 kph at 10 a.m. Saturday to 65 kph at 10 a.m. Sunday.
As Saudel approaches, rough seas and strong winds should be expected in certain regions of the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea. Rainfall of up to 150 mm should be expected in localities from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue from Saturday night to Monday morning, the national weather office warned.
For more than two weeks, central Vietnam, particularly Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue has suffered huge damage from heavy rains and severe floods, compounded by the presence of two tropical depressions and two storms since earlier this month.
As of Saturday morning, at least 119 have lost their lives to floods and landslides in the region.
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