Towns and cities in Vietnam’s central region are preparing to be battered by tropical storm Aere after it made entrance into the northeastern area of the East Vietnam Sea on Thursday.
As of 4:00am on Thursday, Aere was battering down on the maritime area just 720 km to the east-northeast of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, with maximum sustained winds clocking in at 75-90 kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).
Meteorologists predict that the storm will pick up more power as it heads further west across the East Vietnam Sea this weekend.
By 4:00 am on Saturday, the storm, centering at 20.7 degrees latitude north and 115.8 degrees longitude east, is expected to carry winds at 90-100 kph, tormenting its path with extremely rough seas and strong squalls as high as 12 on the Beaufort scale.
The storm’s trajectory will then move north over the next 24 to 48 hours before moving west-southwestwards on Sunday, at 3-5 kph, picking up more strength along the way, according to the latest NCHMF forecast.
Vu Anh Tuan, head of NCHMF’s short-term forecast office, said the complexity in movement and the changes in intensity of the storm can lead to several possible outcomes.
“Aere may either weaken after crossing the seawater near Hong Kong or be pushed southwestwards by the cold air mass from the northeast as it begins to affect the central region,” Tuan said.
Another possibility, Tuan added, is that the storm may cross the Chinese island of Hainan and head towards the north-central Vietnamese provinces.
On Wednesday, the Control and National Committee for Search and Rescue and the Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control urged local authorities to enact preventive measures in preparation for the storm as well as offer immediate support to locals encountering trouble.