A tropical storm packing powerful winds is heading toward the East Vietnam Sea and forecast to enter the waterway over the next day.
Storm Phanfone was located in the central part of the Philippines as of 1:00 pm on Wednesday, unleashing winds at 115 to 135km per hour and gusts at up to 165km an hour, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
In the next 24 hours, the storm will move northwestward and enter the East Vietnam Sea, becoming the eighth storm to strike Vietnam this year.
As of 1:00 pm on Thursday, Phanfone will be located about 420 kilometers northeast of Song Tu Tay Island in Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, with wind speed decreasing to 115-135km per hour.
It will continue traveling northwest and is expected to be situated approximately 320 kilometers southeast of the Vietnamese Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands on Friday afternoon.
The storm will keep traveling northwest in the next 48 to 96 hours.
Under the influence of the storm, high waves and strong winds will hit the East Vietnam Sea over the next days.
Meanwhile, a cold spell is forecast to affect northern Vietnam and some provinces in the north-central region on Thursday.
The cold snap will then move southward and expand its influence to localities in central Vietnam.