Typhoon Rai, the ninth typhoon of the year, was forecast to reach the northwest of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago at 10am on December 20 with wind speeds of 120-150km/h, said the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The typhoon will move in a northeasterly direction from 10am on December 21 at a speed of 15-20km/h. The typhoon’s centre will be about 230km south of Hong Kong. Wind speeds will be between 60-90km/h.

All vessels working in the danger zone are at high risk of being affected by strong winds, high waves and tornadoes.

The typhoon will continue to move in a northeasterly direction on December 22 before weakening into a tropical depression. The centre of the tropical depression will be about 320km southeast of Hong Kong. The strongest wind speeds will be under 40km/h.

The western area of the East Sea (South China Sea) will be at risk level four and the coastal sea from Thua Thien-Hue to Phu Yen at level three (five is the highest level).

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has asked provinces and cities in the path of the typhoon to implement guidance from Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chinh and the national steering committee.

Localities will closely monitor ships that are sheltering in islands and at sea, guiding them to safe anchorage, especially those working in the Hoang Sa Archipelago and the northern area of the East Sea.

Provinces and cities from Thua Thien-Hue to Khanh Hoa must inspect, review and be ready to ensure the safety of dams and reservoirs, especially those under construction. They must proactively operate drainage and protect production.

Islands must not leave people on ships at anchorage and in aquaculture cages to ensure safety and proactively implement plans to relocate and evacuate people, especially in houses with a high risk of unsafety.

On the night of December 18, in Bạc Lieu province, the provincial Border Guards communicated with all ships working on the sea and gave them updated information concerning the typhoon.

As many as 140 people, including 28 foreigners, are working on wind power projects in the province. All of them have been notified and asked to move to a safe location.

Chairman of the Bạc Lieu People’s Committee Phạm Van Thieu asked the Border Guards to work with other organisations to be ready to rescue and report regularly to the People’s Committee.

The central province of Phu Yen has experienced heavy rains and strong waves since the afternoon of December 18 due to the typhoon.

The province moved more than 3,800 people working in aquatic product raising cages to safe places.

The central province of Quang Nam also had heavy rains in the past two days, raising the risks of flash floods and landslides.

Average rainfall will be about 80-150mm, and more than 200mm in some places.

Since the afternoon of December 18, border guards in the province have helped local residents to consolidate houses and bring boats to safe shelters.