At 7 am Tuesday, the storm was centered south of the Philippines’ Luzon Island, packing winds of up to 74 kph and squalls of 75-102 kph, the Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Center said.

According to international weather agencies, the storm is unlikely to strengthen after entering the East Sea, the center said.

The storm is now moving mainly west at a speed of 15-20 kph and at 7 am Wednesday it will be 350 km northeast of Song Tu Tay Island, part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Sea.

At that time, winds near the storm’s eye will reach 74 kph, with gusts as strong as 102 kph. The sea will be very rough.

Due to the storm, which is accompanied by a cold front, the eastern area of the East Sea will have rough seas and winds of 62-88 kph and gusts of 89-117 kph.

Over the next 24 hours, the storm will continue to move mainly west at 15-20 kph, but it will then likely change direction to west-southwest.

At 7 am on December 11, Hagupit will be located 350 km east-northeast of the coast of the south central region, with maximum winds of 74 kph and squalls of up to 102 kph.

The center the East Sea, including the waters north of the Truong Sa archipelago, will experience violent seas and squalls of 75-102 kph.

The Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control has asked local authorities in the region from the central city of Da Nang to Ca Mau province in the south to keep all boats at sea well informed of the storm’s movement and call on them to leave dangerous waters or avoid entering them.

The board also asked the ministries of Defense, Transport, Agriculture and Rural Development, Foreign Affairs and Industry and Trade to work out precautionary plans ahead of the storm.

Two scenarios

When it reaches the central East Sea, the Hagupit may weaken into a tropical depression and will move southwest, the center forecast.

It will then travel along Vietnam’s south central coast towards the southern provinces, bringing rain totals of 50-100 mm to the region from the south-central province of Ninh Thuan to Ben Tre province in the southern region.

Another scenario forecasts that when the storm is 100 km away from the Vietnamese shore, it will weaken into a low pressure area and move along the country’s southern coast, with no effect on the mainland.

Otherwise, the low pressure may also dissipate at sea, the center said.

Tuoi Tre News - December 9, 2014