A tropical depression and the third storm of the year have formed over the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).
As of 1 p.m. on Saturday, the tropical depression was about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the Hoang Sa Archipelago (Paracel Islands), with wind speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour. The tropical depression, which strengthened from a low-pressure system on Friday, is slowly heading west-northwest with constant wind speed.
Meanwhile, another low-pressure system in the northeastern part of the East Sea has strengthened into Tropical Storm Roke, the third storm of the season. As of 1 p.m. on Saturday, the storm was about 620 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong (China), with wind speeds of up to 75 kilometers per hour.
Weather forecasters predict that Roke would make landfall in the southeastern coast of China’s Guangdong Province on Sunday afternoon before weakening into a tropical depression.
Due to Roke’s influence, the tropical depression near Hoang Sa Islands is predicted to move slowly. However, once the storm weakens, the depression is expected to pass through China’s Hainan Island and enter the Gulf of Tonkin, causing heavy rain in Vietnam’s northern and central provinces from July 25.
The tropical depression also has the potential to strengthen into a storm before making landfall in northern Vietnam, a meteorological expert told VnExpress.
It is the fourth tropical depression to develop over the East Sea this year. Two of them later strengthened into storms. Tropical Storm Talas, the second storm to hit the country, killed at least eight people and damaged buildings and roads across northern and central Vietnam after making landfall on Monday morning.
Weather forecasters in Vietnam are predicting a particularly stormy typhoon season this year, with 13-15 typhoons and tropical depressions expected to develop over the East Sea. Three to four are likely to make landfall in central Vietnam.
Last year, 10 typhoons and tropical depressions developed over the East Sea, four of which hit Vietnam’s mainland.