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Powerful Tropical Storm to Hit Saigon, Mekong Delta on Christmas Night

Typhoon Tembin, which is currently wreaking havoc in the Philippines, is forecast to make landfall in southern Vietnam late tomorrow night, December 25.

VnExpress reports that, as of Monday morning, the storm will be about 300 kilometers east of the coastline stretching from Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province to Ca Mau Province.

The forecast track from Weather Underground has Tembin located just off the Mekong Delta at 9pm on Christmas night as a tropical storm, meaning the storm is expected to weaken from its current strength.

Tembin's forecast path as of 7am Sunday, Vietnam time. Image via Weather Underground.

However, the storm is still expected to significantly impact the southern region with strong winds and heavy rain. According to VnExpress, officials have prepared to evacuate almost one million people from vulnerable areas in the Mekong Delta.

Hoang Duc Cuong, the director of the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, told the news source: "A year-end storm comes once in a decade, but a strong one like Tembin is the first."

Meanwhile Tran Quang Hoai, director of the National Department of Natural Disasters Prevention and Control, warned that the deep south's lack of storm experience could exacerbate damage once Tembin makes landfall.

He compared the oncoming storm to Typhoon Damrey, which struck near Nha Trang in November and left over 100 people dead while causing over US$1 billion in damage.

Saigoneers and those from surrounding provinces need to pay close attention to Tembin, as its exact path could change, as could the time it will make landfall.

Typhoon Tembin's radar signature as of 9:45am Sunday, Vietnam time. Image via Weather Underground.

The typhoon has already left dozens dead while causing major damage in the Philippines, CNN reports.

[Top photo via NASA Goddard Space Center]

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