Tropical Storm Doksuri is picking up strength as it nears north-central Vietnam and is expected to make landfall this weekend.
During an online conference on Thursday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said that it is the strongest storm to have hit Vietnam during the past 10 years.
Doksuri was just140 kilometers southeast of Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago at 4:00 am on Thursday, carrying winds of 90 to 100km per hour and squalls at up to 149km per hour.
The storm is forecast to travel southwestward at a velocity of 15 to 20km an hour over the next 24 hours, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
By 4:00 am on Friday, Doksuri is forecast to reach 190 kilometers east of the coastline from Nghe An to Quang Tri Provinces in north-central Vietnam, with even stronger wind speeds of 135 and 150km an hour and gusts topping 183km per hour.
Waves in the northern part of the East Vietnam Sea will stretch a towering 10 meters high during this period.
|An online conference was organized on Thursday morning to prepare for Storm Doksuri. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Landfall is expected between Friday night and Saturday morning while the storm continues on its southwest journey toward Laos, where it will weaken into a tropical depression.
Strong winds and heavy downpours are in the forecast in the north-central provinces from Quang Ngai to Thanh Hoa, and several northern localities.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged competent authorities on Wednesday to begin preparations for the potential consequences brought about by the typhoon, calling it a strong and complicated storm that requires close attention and early forecasting.
Provinces in the affected areas should prepare for prompt evacuations, fortify embankments and local constructions to minimize damage, and be ready to deal with potential flash floods and landslides.
Local authorities have notified over 287,300 fishermen on 69,500 fishing boats to shelter and distance themselves from dangerous areas.
|Fishing boats take shelter in Quang Xuong District, located in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa. Photo: Tuoi Tre|