Vietnam’s government said as many as 137 fishermen are missing as Tropical Storm Mindulle churned its way across the South China Sea toward the country’s east coast with maximum sustained winds of 111 kilometers per hour.
Vietnam’s Border Guard High Command was unable to contact 10 fishing boats with the fishermen on board, the government said in a statement. Around 1,500 fishing boats with 7,600 fishermen were ordered back to port, the National Committee for Flood and Storm Control said in a separate statement.
Tropical Storm Mindulle is expected to make landfall at about 7 p.m. Hanoi time today close to the city of Vinh, south of the capital. The storm was 173 kilometers (107 miles) southeast of Vinh, Vietnam, at about 7 a.m. Hanoi time, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said on its website.
The storm is dumping heavy rain on Vietnam’s east coast, Vietnam’s National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said on its website. The government warned the rain may cause flooding and mudslides, and ordered the evacuation of people in high-risk areas including river mouths.
Mindulle’s was moving northwest in the South China Sea at 22 kilometers per hour and is forecast to maintain strength as it approaches land, the center said. Mindulle, the Korean word for dandelion, will be upgraded to a typhoon if winds exceed 117 kilometers per hour.