Tropical storm Haikui closes in on Vietnam's Paracels

The storm's eye was just 540km away from Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands this early morning 

A map shows the expected route and development of storm Haikui. Photo: National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Tropical storm Haikui, the 13th storm hitting Vietnam this year, is traveling west and/or northwest and its eye is predicted to be 250km east and/or northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands at 4:00 am on Sunday, according to a recently updated weather forecast.

Within the next 24 hours, the storm will travel at a speed of 15km per hour with wind speed at its eye estimated to reach level nine and intermittent gusts of level 12.

The East Vietnam Sea area will have showers accompanied by strong thunderstorms and winds of level 6-7. The areas in the storm's eye could have winds at level 8-9 with intermittent gusts of level 11-12.

Within the next 24 hours, the most affected areas are regions between north latitudes from 15 degrees to 19 degrees and located on the eastside of the east longitude of 112 degrees.

During the next 24 to 48 hours, the storm will travel west and/or southwest with a slower speed of 10km per hour.

It is expected that the storm will hit the northwest areas of the Paracels by 4:00 am on November 13. Its strongest wind speed is forecast to be at level 8 to 9 (60-90 km/h) with intermittent gusts of level 12.

During the next 48 to 72 hours, the storm will continue to move west and/or northwest with a slower speed from 5 to 10km per hour.

The storm is forecast to subside and could become a tropical depression within the next three days.

Storm Haikui is formed when cold fronts develop and intensify. The natural phenomenon often has irregular patterns and people are advised to follow closely the weather forecast.

Recently, Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm to hit Vietnam this year, has caused at least 106 people dead while leaving 25 missing and 197 injured.

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