​Storm Barijat to weaken as Vietnam braces for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Tropical Storm Berijat is the fifth to hit Vietnam in the 2018 hurricane season

A map tracking the path of Storm Berijat. Photo: NCHMF

Storm Barijat, currently heading for northern Vietnam, is forecast to evolve into a tropical depression over the next two days, but alert is still on for a super typhoon on course for the East Vietnam Sea.

As of 7:00 am on Thursday, Barijat was approximately 330 kilometers east of Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, packing winds of up to 75 kilometers per hour, according to the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting (NCHMF).

Storm Berijat, the fifth to hit Vietnam in 2018, is heading for the country’s northern region at 15-20kph and is forecast to be north of the Gulf of Tonkin on Thursday afternoon, when it will devolve into a tropical depression.

By 7:00 pm the same day, the storm will have been approximately 100km from Quang Ninh, a coastal city three hours northeast of Hanoi that is home to Vietnam’s famous Ha Long Bay.

When Berijat makes landfall in the northern region from Quang Ninh to Hai Phong on Friday, it is forecast to further weaken into a low-pressure zone, with winds of less than 40km/h.

Rains and thunderstorms are expected in the region over the next few days, as ships are warned of high waves measuring up to three meters high in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Total rainfall over the area is estimated to be between 50 and 100 millimeters.

Meanwhile, authorities are shifting concern toward a new hurricane that is on course to enter the East Vietnam Sea over the next few days.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, also known as Ompong in the Philippines, was approximately 1,100km southeast of the country’s Luzon Island as of 7:00 am on Thursday, packing winds of up to 220kph, according to the NCHMF.

The Guardian reports on Thursday that Philippine authorities have ordered the evacuation of millions living in its path and closed schools and offices as they brace for “the most powerful storm this year."

In the next 24 hours, the super typhoon is forecast to travel at 20kph heading for the East Vietnam Sea, and will be some 550km from Luzon by 7:00 am Friday.

The hurricane will be around 560km east of China’s Hainan Island on Sunday, with category-15 winds according to the Beaufort wind scale.

While the super typhoon is expected to weaken as it makes landfall near Hainan, Vietnam’s northern and north-central provinces have been told to brace for the storm’s impacts over Monday and Tuesday next week.

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