Typhoon No.3, internationally known as Wipha, is forecast to hit the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh and Hai Phòng City at 4pm today, according to the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre.
Fishing boats dock at Bai Tu Long Island in Quang Ninh Province in preparation for the approaching typhoon. VNS Photo Viet Thanh
At 4am on Friday, the storm eye was seen 180km away from the province with wind speed recorded at level 9 (of 12 levels) of 75 to 90km per hour.
The storm is moving west at five to 10km per hour. After it hits northern provinces from Quang Ninh to Thai Binh on Friday night, the storm is expected to weaken to a tropical depression.
Strong winds at level 7 to 8 have been recorded over the Tonkin Gulf, including on islands Bach Long Vi, Co To, Cat Hai and Van Don.
Coastal areas in Quang Ninh and Hai Phong have been warned against storm surges and high tides of 4 to 4.5 metres.
The Red River Delta is predicted to have strong winds at level 7 on Friday afternoon.
Downpours are expected in the northern and central regions from Friday to Sunday.
Hai Phong's Cat Bi Airport and Quang Ninh Province’s Van Don Airport will be temporarily closed from 12pm on Friday to 12pm on Saturday due to the storm.
Airlines have also adjusted their flight schedules to ensure aviation safety, with many flights to and from the two airports cancelled on Friday.
Eleven flights operated by Vietjet Air to and from Hai Phong on Friday and Saturday have been cancelled. Other flights are expected to be affected.
Jetstar Pacific has cancelled two flights to and from Hai Phong on Friday and altered the schedules of flights on other routes.
Vietnam Airlines has cancelled six flights connecting Hai Phong and HCM City on Friday and Saturday and changed the departure time of other flights to Hai Phong.
According to the Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Rescue under the High Command of Border Guards, till 6am today, the agency have collaborated with local authorities to evacuate more than 72,000 boats and nearly 300,000 people working on seas from Quang Ninh to Thanh Hoa provinces.
Water levels in the northern region’s reservoirs are at 60 to 70 per cent of capacity while reservoirs in the northern central region remain at the low level of 25 to 30 per cent.
Currently, from Quang Ninh to Ha Tinh, there are 141 reservoirs that are damaged and 62 others under construction that might pose dangers for local residents and farms when floods occur.