Satellite image of tropical storm Sonca approaching central region of Vietnam. The storm poses high risk of floods and landslides. (Photo: nchmf.gov.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Tropical storm Sonca, the fourth to strike the East Sea and third to hit Vietnam this year, is forecast to make landfall in central provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Tri on July 25 afternoon and poses a risk of floods and landslides, according to the National Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecasting.

The centre said that the strongest winds near the typhoon’s centre reach 60-75 kilometres per hour. In the next 24 hours, the storm will likely to move west and north-west at 15 kilometres per hour and weaken to a tropical low pressure system.

From July 25, coastal areas from Thanh Hoa to Quang Tri will experience waves of up to 2-3 metres, while central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue face downpours between 150 millimetres and 250 millimetres.

Meanwhile, the Red River Delta, north western provinces of Hoa Binh and Son La and Central region will see moderate to heavy rain (rainfall from 50 millimetres to 150 millimetres).

Sonca will also bring rains and thunderstorms in the middle and south of the East Sea (including the Spratly archipelagos) as well as coastal areas from the south central province of Ninh Thuan to the southernmost province of Ca Mau. From Ca Mau to Kien Giang provinces and the Gulf of Thailand, there will be showers and scattered thunderstorms.

In response to the typhoon, Nghe An province has informed all vessels out on the sea about the storm while requesting them to leave or not enter dangerous areas.

Border defence forces in Thua Thien-Hue province have worked with coastal localities to call nearly 1,900 vessels with more than 12,000 fishermen to move offshore to flee the storm. Local authorities have guided citizens to protect their houses and construction works, store food, medicines and essential items and evacuate people and assets from unsafe places.

Quang Binh province has informed all vessels on the sea about the storm. As of 6:00 am on July 25, 3,555 fishing ships with 14,139 crew members moved offshore or found a safe shelter. There are 97 ships with 800 workers operating in the Da Nang sea area.

Last week, tropical storm Talas, the second of the season, killed at least eight people and damaged buildings and roads across northern and central regions. Weather forecasters have predicted a particularly stormy typhoon season this year, with 13-15 typhoons and tropical depressions expected to develop over the East Sea.

Last year, ten typhoons and tropical depressions developed over the East Sea, four of which hit the mainland.-VNA