Tropical Storm "Talas" formed in the South China Sea on Saturday, July 15, 2017 as the 7th (JMA and PAGASA) named storm of the 2017 Pacific typhoon season. It made landfall over central Vietnam just after 18:00 UTC on July 16 with maximum sustained winds of 92.6 km/h (57 mph). Heavy rain is expected over northern Vietnam, Laos and Thailand over the next few days. Flooding is likely.
On Saturday, China's national observatory issued a blue alert for Tropical Storm "Talas," which was expected to hit Hainan Province and the Beibu Gulf. According to Xinhua, 22 901 fishing boats were moored while 39 425 people working at sea farms had returned to the coastline of China's Guangdong Province as of 08:00 UTC, July 15. Passenger ships across the Qiongzhou Strait, between Hainan and Guangdong, were also halted.
At 02:00 UTC on July 16, the eye of Tropical Storm "Talas" was located some 60 km (37 miles) southwest of the Sanya City, packing winds of 83 km/h (51 mph), according to the China's National Meteorological Center (NMC).
Talas was expected to move northwestward at a speed of about 20 km/h (12.4 mph) toward the Beibu Gulf and make landfall on the northeast coast of Vietnam on Monday morning (local time).
Before making landfall, Talas passed just south of China's Hainan, bringing heavy rain, rough seas and wind speeds reaching 90 km/h (56 mph). It stranded 49 tourists who were part of camping groups on Nanpeng Island, which is normally uninhabited. China's Ministry of Transport said in a statement that they were all safely transported to a ship and helicopter dispatched by rescue crews.
At 21:00 UTC, the center of Tropical Storm "Talas" was located approximately 278 km (172 miles) south of Hanoi, Vietnam.
The storm was tracking west at 26 km/h (16 mph) over the past 6 hours with maximum sustained wind speeds of 92.6 km/h (57 mph), JTWC said, adding that Talas is expected to dissipate over land in the next 12 to 24 hours as it tracks toward the west-northwest, steered by a subtropical ridge over eastern China.
What's left of it is expected to bring flooding rain to northern Vietnam, Laos and Thailand over the next few days.
Featured image: Tropical Storm "Talas" at 04:30 UTC on July 17, 2017. Credit: UW-CIMSS