The Vietnamese government has urged provincial authorities to prepare to evacuate up to half a million people in the path of Tropical Storm Noul, which is set to make landfall on Friday, September 18. The storm system was gaining strength in the South China Sea on Wednesday, September 16, and is set to impact the coastline between Quang Binh and Da Nang provinces.
Winds of up to 135 kph (84 mph) and up to 400 mm (16 in) of rainfall are forecast across central Vietnam over the coming days. Flooding and landslides are possible in affected areas, as well as disruptions to business and transport.
Powerful storm systems are common during the typhoon season from June to November, and are known to particularly affect the North and Central regions. However, a number have also made landfall in the south in recent years due to changes to storms' common paths in the South China Sea. The monsoon season, which typically runs from May to September in the northern and southern regions as well as between October and April in the central region, also brings annual heavy downpours.
It should be noted that sustained torrential rain can trigger life-threatening floods and landslides in low-lying and hilly communities, including in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Storm surge is also a threat in coastal communities, especially upon the arrival of a storm. Inclement weather can result in disruption to travel, telecommunications, public utilities, commercial activities, and government services.
Those in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous. Never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.
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