Sarika to unleash torrential rain in China, Vietnam following deadly flooding
By By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather Meteorologist
October 20, 2016, 3:22:52 AM EDT
After barreling over the Philippines and across Hainan island, Sarika has its sights set on southern China and northeastern Vietnam.
Sarika, known as Karen in the Philippines, made landfall in Hainan on Tuesday with the equivalent strength of a Category 1 hurricane. The storm quickly weakened to a tropical storm as it interacted with land.
Torrential rain totaled more than 200 mm (8 inches) in the capital of Haikou as Sarika crossed Hainan on Tuesday.
Strong winds also caused the cancellation of all flights from Haikou Meilan International airport for a period on Tuesday, according to Aljazeera.
The system will move through the Gulf of Tonkin toward the border between China and Vietnam before making landfall in northeastern Vietnam on Wednesday, local time.
Despite weakening, significant impacts are still expected across the region.
Flooding rainfall in excess of 200 mm (8 inches) is expected to fall across far northeastern Vietnam and the provinces of Guangxi and Guizhou in southern China. In the mountainous terrain of southern China, up to 300 mm (12 inches) of rain will lead to the risk of significant flash flooding and mudslides.
Additionally, coastal flooding is likely east of the landfall location of Sarika. The onshore winds could make for abnormally high tides in the cities of Fangchenggang and Beihai in southern China. Bays and the mouths of rivers will be particularly susceptible to higher tidal flooding.
Sarika will weaken into a tropical rainstorm as it moves northward into southern China on Wednesday night and Thursday. Although the storm will be weaker in terms of wind, it will still bring significant rainfall to inland locations.
Sarika has already been blamed for at least two deaths over the weekend when the storm passed over the northern Philippines, according to ABC News. In Vietnam, at least 31 people have died in flooding unrelated to Sarika.
The powerful typhoon made landfall in Luzon with sustained winds over 180 km/h (112 mph) on Saturday night, local time. This strength is equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic.
In addition to the damaging winds, flooding rainfall further inundated Luzon, with more than 400 mm (16 inches) reported in the city of Virac. Areas from Iba to Dagupan and Baguio were drenched with 75-125 mm (3-5 inches) of rain.
The Philippine Office of Civil Defense stated that the typhoon left 246,000 residents of Catanduanes without electricity or telephone service, The Philippines Star reported.
While Manila was spared from the worst of the conditions, in excess of 50 mm (2 inches) of rain was reported in parts of the city.
Northern parts of the Philippines will get hit by another cyclone later this week, as Super Typhoon Haima approaches on Wednesday and Wednesday night.
AccuWeather Meteorologists Eric Leister and Adam Douty contributed content to this story.
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