Authorities in four Vietnamese localities are planning to evacuate over 1.1 million residents as Storm Noul speeds up toward the mainland.
The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control organized a meeting on Thursday morning to prepare for the approach of Storm Noul, which is the fifth to hit Vietnam this year.
Authorities in north-central Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces, as well as in central Da Nang City are expected to evacuate 295,859 households with 1.17 million people if wind speeds reach between 90km and 120km per hour.
Most international weather stations predicted that the storm may unleash winds at the maximum velocity of 135km per hour, said Mai Van Khiem, director of the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).
Military and border guard units will mobilize 256,000 officers and 2,600 vehicles of various kinds to assist local residents as well as search and rescue missions.
The navy will also ready six vessels for search and rescue efforts.
About 511 fishing boats carrying 3,706 crew members were still operating in dangerous maritime areas as of Thursday morning, local border guard offices reported.
All of them have been warned of the storm and directed to move to safer zones.
As of 7:00 am on Thursday, Storm Noul was located about 340 kilometers southeast of Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, with winds at 90-100km per hour, according to the NCHMF.
It will enter the sea off the coast of Quang Binh and Quang Ngai Provinces by 7:00 am on Friday, unleashing winds of 100-120km an hour.
The storm will continue traveling northwest and is expected to make landfall between Quang Binh Province and Da Nang later that same day.
During its time in the mainland, Storm Noul is forecast to carry winds at 90-120km per hour and gusts at up to 150km an hour.
The storm circulation will result in torrential rain in localities from north-central Ha Tinh Province to central Quang Ngai Province until the end of Friday.
Between Friday and Sunday, downpours will dampen localities in the Red River Delta, as well as north-central Thanh Hoa and Nghe An Provinces.