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Tropical Storm Haikui to weaken before targeting hard-hit Vietnam

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 12, 2017, 5:21:14 AM EST

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Vietnam residents still recovering from deadly Typhoon Damrey will welcome the news that Tropical Storm Haikui is expected to continue to weaken prior to targeting the country next week.

The warm waters of the South China Sea caused Haikui to become a stronger tropical storm early this weekend.

As quickly as Haikui strengthened, the opposite is now taking place.

"Haikui is expected to lose a battle with stronger wind shear and drier air as it tracks offshore of China’s Hainan Island and toward central Vietnam from Sunday to Tuesday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.

Haikui 11/12

Haikui may weaken to a tropical depression or rainstorm prior to moving into central Vietnam around Tuesday, local time. Landfall may occur in between Dong Hoi and Qui Nhon; however, any impacts from Haikui will be limited to a much smaller area within this corridor.

The other scenario is that Haikui tracks farther to the north into Hainan Island before crawling into southern mainland China.

Localized downpours may still accompany Haikui onshore in either scenario. The good news is that the weakened state and compact nature of Haikui will prevent a repeat of the widespread flooding rain that Typhoon Damrey unleashed in Vietnam a week ago.

AccuWeather typhoon center
Vietnam weather center
At least 106 dead after strongest typhoon in 16 years strikes southern Vietnam

Isolated flooding and mudslides may result with the ground still saturated from Damrey.

The risk for damaging winds should lessen as Haikui weakens on its journey toward Vietnam.

At least 106 people were killed and nearly 200 others were injured across central and southern Vietnam after Damrey slammed onshore at the start of the first weekend of November, according to Reuters.

Damrey was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in southern Vietnam in 16 years.

Vietnam flooding Nov 10

Soldiers clean up after flooding from Typhoon Damrey in Hoi An, Vietnam, on Wednesday, 8 November 2017. Typhoon Damrey caused extensive damage ahead of theAsia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

In the wake of the devastation and to aid the country in future disasters, the United States Ambassador to Vietnam, Daniel J. Kritenbrink, announced over $1 million in emergency assistance and long-term disaster risk reduction support to Vietnam, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Prior to moving over the South China Sea, Haikui unleashed heavy rain across the central Philippines earlier this week. Schools were canceled as flooding and landslides ensued, CNN Philippines reported.

While Haikui tracks toward central Vietnam, AccuWeather meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the southern South China Sea as another tropical system may attempt to develop and threaten southern Vietnam around the middle of next week.

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