A tropical depression is forming off the coast of China.
A freshly formed tropical pressure system in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam) appears to be developing into a storm, prompting Vietnamese localities to take precautions against its possible impact.
Vietnam’s national weather forecasting agency said the tropical front is likely to intensify into a deep depression and possible typhoon, the third in the area in the past month.
The front has brought squalls and showers to the southern coast of China as well as the northern part of the South China Sea. It is forecast to cross China’s southern coastline and travel west into the Gulf of Tonkin over the next couple of days, bringing heavy downpours to northern and north-central parts of Vietnam.
The Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Relief sent an urgent note to northern localities and relevant ministries and agencies on Tuesday asking them to act swiftly before the storm hits.
Coastal localities from Quang Ninh to Ha Tinh and mountainous provinces have been instructed to keep a close watch on the development of the tropical front and inform vessels operating offshore to seek refuge from the storm. Northern provinces have also been told to prepare for heavy rains, flooding and rock slides.
The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said at 7 a.m. on Thursday, the tropical storm is forecast to be off the eastern coast of China’s Leizhou Island, with wind speeds reaching 90km per hour.
International forecasting centers have also raised an alert for a depression building in tandem in the Bay of Bengal, and assessed it as a “medium” chance of it developing into a typhoon.
On July 26, Typhoon Mirinae formed in the South China Sea and made landfall in northern Vietnam, triggering heavy rains accompanied by gale-force winds.
Although it was not regarded as a strong typhoon, Mirinae caused significant damage in Vietnam, leaving a trail of destruction in Hanoi and the northern provinces of Nam Dinh,Thanh Hoa, Ha Nam and Ninh Binh.
In early August, Typhoon Nida swept through Hong Kong, shutting down most of the financial hub with gale-force winds and disrupting hundreds of flights before churning through China and weakening into a low pressure.