A tropical depression intensified into a Tropical Storm Wednesday, July 31 and lay centered 230 kilometres Northeast of Vietnam's Paracel Islands.
The storm, internationally named Wipha, is packing winds of 75 kph and expected to move West-Northwest at a speed of 15-20 kph, the National Centre for Hydro - Meteorological Forecasting said Wednesday.
It is expected to make landfall over China’s Leizhou Peninsula Thursday morning with 90 kph winds before moving West toward Northern Vietnam on Friday, Aug 2. The Northern port city Hai Phong and the nearby Quang Ninh Province, home to the popular Ha Long Bay, are expected to be directly hit.
AccuWeather said locations from Northern Hainan Island to the Leizhou Peninsula may take a direct hit from the storm on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, Aug 1, with a second landfall possible in Guangxi or Northern Vietnam.
Vietnam forecast centre said the storm would cause downpours between Thursday and Saturday in Northern Vietnam, the Northern highlands and the North Central province of Thanh Hoa.
More than 65,000 Vietnamese boats and ships have been informed of the storm to find necessary refuge.
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