Tropical Storm Bebinca is forecast to hit northern Vietnam in the early morning (local time) of Friday, August 17. The storm is expected to make landfall near Hai Phong between Quang Ninh and Nam Dinh provinces and move inland, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to north and north-central regions, including Hanoi. The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention released an official warning and instructed citizens to prepare for flooding and landslides, particularly in the provinces of Son La and Hao Binh.
As of Wednesday, August 15, Bebinca is producing sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph). The storm is expected to strengthen slightly as it moves into the Gulf of Tonkin, with sustained winds of 75 km/h (46 mph) and gusts of up to 92 km/h (58 mph). After making landfall, Bebinca is forecast to cut west across the country and into northern Laos. The tropical storm is moving slowly, which could result in heavy rain of up to 30-40 cm (12-16 in) for the affected areas, according to Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Typhoons and tropical cyclones are common in the west Pacific and South China Sea from May through November. This is the fourth such storm to hit Vietnam this season.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate strong winds and heavy rain (and associated disruptions), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. 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 - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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