A tropical storm in the South Pacific, the first of the year, is closing in on the northern coast of Vietnam, the country's national weather agency said Thursday.
According to Vietnam's Central Meteorological Service, the center of Tropical Storm Toraji at 7 a.m. local time (midnight GMT) was in the northern part of the Gulf of Tonkin, about 125 miles off the Vietnamese coast.
The storm is heading toward the coast at about 10mph, with sustained winds of up to 45mph, and is expected to hit Vietnam Friday if it remains on its current path.
Meteorologists issued a warning of potentially devastating heavy rains, flooding, tornadoes and mudslides.
· Evacuated families fill city's hotels and B&Bs
· Prince boards rescue boat to view stricken village
Flood rescue plans for Britain's worst affected city will be announced today when ministers visit Hull, where 30,000 people - three-quarters of the national figure - had to leave their homes at the height of the crisis and an estimated one in every five houses has been damaged.
Only 15 of the city's 105 schools escaped and millions of pounds will be needed to repair day care centres, libraries and leisure complexes swept by 10cm (four inches) of rain, which swamped drains, killing two people.
Floods and landslides killed 30 people in a central China province, with the rain-swollen Yangtze River that cuts through the province at dangerously high levels, a government Web site and state media said Tuesday.
The flooding in Hubei province also left nine people missing, destroyed 53,400 homes and caused almost 800 million yuan (about US$100 million; €74 million) in losses, Xinhua News Agency reported.