A tropical storm forming in the East Sea has been forecast to hit China’s Hainan Island before moving to northern and central Vietnam next Monday, threatening to wreak more havoc in a region already in the throes of devastating floods that have killed at least 54 people.
The tropical storm is the 11th to form this year in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea.
According to forecasts, the storm will hit provinces in northern and north-central Vietnam that are still trying to deal with one of the deadliest floods to ever hit the country.
As of Friday, flashfloods and landslides from a tropical depression had killed at least 54 people in Hanoi, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Son La and Yen Bai, said a report by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
The death toll caused by flooding between October 9 and 13 in northern and north-central Vietnam. Graphics by Viet Chung
39 people are also missing and that number is likely to rise in many remote areas.
Hoa Binh Province, where Southeast Asia’s largest hydropower dam has been releasing record volumes of water, has reported 17 deaths and 15 missing persons.
Two hundred houses have been destroyed and more than 30,000 have been flooded. Around 70,000 hectares of rice and other agricultural crops have also been damaged, and 200,000 domesticated birds and cattle have died, the center said.
Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, said Typhoon Khanun will bring more heavy rain to the region over the next five days.
Vietnam has been suffering from destructive stormy weather once again this year. Floods in northern Vietnam killed at least 26 people and washed away hundreds of homes in August before Typhoon Doksuri, the strongest to hit the country in years, killed at least eight people in the central region last month.
Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.