Continued torrential rain and a heightened risk of flooding is forecast to hit Vietnam's northern and central regions in the coming days as Tropical Storm Son-Tinh approaches from the South China Sea (East Sea), prompting Vietnamese officials to issue a tropical storm warning as of July 17; the worst of the storm is expected to hit Vietnam late Wednesday, July 18, into Thursday, July 19. Current forecasts as of Tuesday predict 75-150 mm (3-6 in) of rainfall in affected areas, although some places may see up to 250 mm (10 in) of precipitation. Son-Tinh is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as it continues to track further inland on Thursday.
Areas expected to be affected by the hazardous weather include the Northwest (Tây Bắc) and Northeast (Đông Bắc) regions, as well as the central provinces from Thanh Hóa to Thừa Thiên Huế. Mountainous areas are at elevated risk of flash floods and landslides, while lowland and urban locations (including the capital city of Hanoi) will be prone to flooding as well. Associated transportation disruptions (including blocked roads and flight disruptions) are possible in affected regions, many of which have already been hit by torrential rain and flood conditions in recent days and weeks.
Son-Tinh is the third storm to affect Vietnam's north and central provinces this year. The summer monsoon season in northern Vietnam, which runs from May to October, regularly results in deadly flooding and landslides. Vietnam was struck by 16 tropical storms in 2017, leaving nearly 400 people dead and hundreds more injured.
Individuals in Vietnam are advised to follow all instructions as issued by local authorities (e.g. possible evacuation orders), follow local weather forecasts, and verify travel plans prior to setting out. In the event of further flooding, remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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