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Typhoon Tembin: Ca Mau Will Be Hardest Hit, Saigon Closes All Public Schools

After causing death and destruction in the Philippines, Typhoon Tembin is currently in the East Sea and will make landfall in the Mekong Delta tonight, December 25.

Saigoneers and residents of surrounding provinces are in for an ugly Christmas, as VnExpress reports that the country's latest typhoon is set to sweep past the region over the next 12 hours. This is the 16th storm to affect the country this year, a record number.

Moreover, local meteorologists have also remarked that the existence of the storm during this time of the year is very unsual.

Tembin is currently churning through the East Sea, and as of 5am this morning it had wind speeds of 135 kilometers per hour (84 miles per hour). The storm is moving west at 25 kilometers per hour and is expected to come the closest to Vietnam's southern coast tonight.

Fortunately, the latest forecast by Weather Underground shared that Tembin's trajectory might not pass through mainland Vietnam as previously predicted. However, southernmost provinces such as Ca Mau and Kien Giang will still experience stormy weather, being the closest to the storm's core.

Image via Weather Underground.

Today, Saigoneers woke up to bouts of rains and strong winds, but it remains to be seen if the city's weather will worsen as Tembin nears later this evening.

Public schools and universities in Saigon are closed today and tomorrow, December 26, while Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang and Saigon are preparing to carry out mass evacuations. Yesterday, local authorities also evacuated some 900 workers on offshore oil rigs on the storm's path.

According to the news source, Bac Lieu has evacuated 350,000 residents, while that figure is 100,000 in Ca Mau, 78,000 in Ba Ria - Vung Tau and 40,000 in Tien Giang.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told these provinces to deploy soldiers and police officers to reinforce buildings and evacuate locals. He also said in an address: "The strong storm combined with high tide could cause disastrous damage if we're not cautious."

Experts and officials are comparing Tembin to Typhoon Linda, which hit southern Vietnam 20 years ago and killed over 3,000 people.

Tembin killed over 200 people in the Philippines while triggering major flooding and landslides.

[Photo via Isportant]

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