Super typhoon Rammasun hit southern China, moves toward northern Vietnam

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Super Typhoon Rammasun, which might be the strongest typhoon to hit China's Hainan Island in 40 years, landed in town of Wengtian early on July 18, 2014, packing winds of up to 216 km/h (134 mph) and bringing torrential rain. It is only the third super typhoon ever to hit China.

Aqua/MODIS satellite captured this image of Typhoon Rammasun approaching Hainan Island, China on July 18, 2014 at 05:35 UTC. (Credit: LANCE Rapid Response Team/MODIS)

A weather station in city ​of Haikou on the north coast of Hainan, recorded maximum sustained winds of 180 km/h (112 mph), gusting up to 220 km/h (137 mph). The China Meteorological Administration has issued a "red warning for typhoon" for parts of its coastline. 

MTSAT-2 satellite image taken at 07:30 UTC on July 18, 2014. The eye of Typhoon Rammasun is clearly visible over the northeastern end of Hainan Island approximately 250 miles southwest of Hong Kong. (Credit: NOAA/MTSAT)

Over 40,000 people were evacuated from Wenchang and Qionghai prior to the storm. Virtually all brick-and-tile houses in the town of Wengtian were either destroyed or had their roofs removed and at least one death was confirmed, according to CCTV. One person is reported dead in Wenchang City in Hainan. Xinhua reporters in Wengtian saw torrential rain flooding farmland and roads covered by broken trees as the typhoon swept along. 

Rammasun will affect as much as 20 million people over the next 24 hours. A devastating storm surge will be possible along the southwest coast of Guangdong, including the Leizhou Peninsula. The storm has already claimed at least 38 lives in the Philippines. Over 26,000 homes were damaged and nearly 7,000 homes destroyed, according to the Philippines’ NDRRMC

MTSAT's AVN IR and visible satellite image of Rammasun at 23:01 UTC on July 18, 2914. (Credit: NOAA/MTSAT)

The typhoon is forecast to continue northwestward into southern China through the Gulf of Tonkin where the warm sea surface temperatures and low vertical wind shear remain favorable for maintaining strength. Rammasun may still be a Category 2 or stronger equivalent typhoon by its final landfall. Rammasun is expected to make its final landfall in northern Vietnam, near Quang Ninh, by around 03:00 UTC on July 19, 2014. Rammasun is estimated to be the strongest typhoon to hit northern Vietnam after Son Tinh in October 2012.

Forecast track by Vietnam's  National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting (Credit: NCHF)

The system will quickly weaken as it moves inland over the rugged terrain of northern Vietnam, and it is expected to become a post-tropical low by July 20. 2014. The system is forecast to travel into mountainous provinces in the northwest, bringing an average rainfall of 200-300 mm, and 500 mm to some areas.

Forecast track by JTWC (Credit: JTWC)

Satellite Animations

MTSAT IR satellite image taken at 20:30 UTC on july 18, 2014. (Credit: NOAA/UW-CIMSS)

 

Featured image:  MTSAT-2 satellite image taken at 07:30 UTC on July 18, 2014. The eye of Typhoon Rammasun is clearly visible over the northeastern end of Hainan Island approximately 250 miles southwest of Hong Kong. (Credit: NOAA/MTSAT)

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