Tropical Storm Nock-Ten over the Philippines on July 26, 2011 [NASA]

After hitting the Philippines with a deadly blow, Tropical Storm Nock-Ten is now tracking towards China and Vietnam.

A typhoon at the time, Nock-Ten made landfall on the Philippine coast of Luzon on Tuesday evening. In the overnight hours it moved across the island and weakened to tropical storm intensity. The storm’s death toll across the northern Philippines continues to rise as bodies are being recovered in areas that were hit hardest by flooding and mudslides. Many fishermen are also still missing.

Nock-Ten then moved into the open waters of the South China Sea. By Thursday afternoon the heaviest of the storm’s showers had ended across Luzon.  

With little friction and warm water to feed it, Tropical Storm Nock-Ten is again set to increase its intensity before making a second landfall on the northeastern coast of Hainan, China Friday on evening. A storm surge of up to two meters is expected for not only Hainan, but also the southern coast of Guangdong. Damaging winds will be accompanied by rainfall amounts of 150 millimeters across most of the island, but in southern Hainan totals in excess of 400 millimeters could even be expected.

Unfortunately, this will not be the end of the story for Nock-Ten. After crossing Hainan, the longer range forecast has the storm crossing the Gulf of Tonkin for an expected third landfall in central Vietnam. Hoang Trung Hai, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, is already urging government agencies to be prepared and ready contingency plans in hopes of minimizing the storm’s damage. Warnings of Nock-ten’s arrival have been issued to nearly 16,000 boats consisting of over 101,000 people between Vietnam’s Quang Ninh and Quang Ngai Provinces.

Nock-Ten is the tenth tropical system of the year for the western Pacific’s typhoon season. Further east, Tropical Storm 11W is set to strengthen into a typhoon within the next several days, but stay clear of land.

Source: Al Jazeera