The sixth tropical storm of this year, formed in the south of Hoang Sa archipelago, and is expected to bring heavy rains to northern and central-northern regions on August 7.

Up to 200mm of rainfall is forecast by the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre, which warns mountainous provinces to prepare for possible flashfloods and landslides.

The storm was about 200km north of Hoang Sa archipelago at 1pm on August 6. Wind speeds near the eye of the storm have been measured at 62-74km per hour.

In the next 24 hours, it is forecast to move northwest along coastal central provinces at a speed of 20-25km per hour.

The storm is expected to continue heading northwest and make landfall in provinces in the northeastern region in the August 7 evening before weakening to a low tropical pressure front.

The front will travel further inland into northern midland areas on August 8, with winds falling to less than 39km per hour.

The Hanoi Sewerage and Drainage Co Ltd has prepared plans to prevent the capital city from being flooded by the storm.

"Workers are on duty around the clock in areas with a high risk of flooding, and work has been completed to lower the water levels in rivers and clear drainage systems," said the company's director, Tran Trong Van.

The previous storm which hit the northern region last weekend claimed six lives and injured 11. More than 2,100 houses and over 5,200ha of rice were damaged by the storm.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 6 issued a request to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to assist 32 Vietnamese fishing vessels.

The ministry requested that the boats be anchored to Hainan Island if necessary and emergency support be provided to the 314 people on board.

Meetings in northern Hai Phong City were suspended on the same day to focus efforts on dealing with the storm. The city also notified 3,000 boats and 9,600 sea workers of the weather conditions.

From the August 7 noon, Hai Phong will temporarily halt all water transport in and out of Cat Hai, Bach Long Vi, Do Son and Kien Thuy districts.

Efforts will be made to move residents who live near aquaculture farming areas.-VNA