Storm Nalgae is forecast to hit central coastal areas from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue provinces on Oct. 5, warned the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre.

The storm is expected to gradually weaken as it heads west towards central coastal provinces. At its strongest, it is packing winds of up to 88kph, said the centre's deputy director Le Thanh Hai.

"Contrary to expectations by meteorologists, storm Nalgae did not gain strength as it entered the East Sea but weakened after crossing Luzon Island of the Philippines ," he said.

"The storm is weakening as a result of a cold spell from the north and because it has been going for a long time," Hai explained.

"It is forecast to be 150km east of the coastal central provinces from Nghe An to Quang Binh at around 1pm on Oct.5 and to make landfall in provinces from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue 15 hours later," he said.

The storm, the second in a week, is expected to bring heavy winds and rough seas to the north of the East Sea , including the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

The Border Guard reported that more than 33,300 vessels with nearly 154,000 people on board had been guided to safer locations as the typhoon approached./.