Typhoon Molave is currently forecast to make landfall in central Vietnam in the vicinity of Quang Nam province on Wednesday, October 28, as it moves westwards across the South China Sea. Molave is currently forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 typhoon and according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) will sustain winds of up to 185kph (115mph) just prior to landfall, making it the equivalent of a Category 3 typhoon. The Vietnamese government is preparing for the evacuation of up to 1.2 million people in the country's central regions, which are already experiencing widespread flooding which has killed up to 130 people. Authorities have stated that mass evacuations could occur in Binh Dinh, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue provinces. Forecasters have warned that the provinces of Ha Tinh, Nghe An, and Quang Binh could receive rainfall of up to 700mm (28in) in some areas until Saturday, October 31.
Strong winds and heavy rainfall could result in flooding, landslides, and disruptions to transport, businesses, and utilities as the storm system approaches.
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 affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
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