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Vietnam faces new threat from Usagi after landslides kill at least 14

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 23, 2018, 4:36:03 AM EST

On the heels of deadly Tropical Storm Toraji, newly formed Tropical Storm Usagi will bring a renewed risk of flooding and mudslides to Vietnam beginning this weekend.

At least 14 people died after landslides destroyed several homes and buried victims in some villages in the resort city of Nha Trang on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Four others remain missing.

Torrential rain from Toraji is being blamed for triggering the landslides.

According to weather data, nearly 380 mm (15 inches) of rain inundated Nha Trang over the course of 18 hours ending early Sunday afternoon, local time.

Vietnam flooding Nov 19

This Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, photo, shows several houses damaged by landslides in south-central resort city of Nha Trang, Vietnam. (Phan Thi Sau/Vietnam News Agency via AP)

As cleanup and recovery efforts continue, residents are facing a new tropical threat.

After unloading heavy rain on the Philippines earlier this week, Tropical Storm Usagi is expected to slam into southern Vietnam this weekend.

The warm waters of the South China Sea will allow Usagi to strengthen further before reaching Vietnam; however, the tropical cyclone is not expected to reach typhoon strength.

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As the storm strengthens, seas will build and become dangerous for boaters and swimmers across the South China Sea.

Usagi is expected to make landfall between Qui Nhon and Vung Tau during the time frame from Saturday to Saturday night (local time). Nha Trang lies within this corridor.

Vietnam 11/21

The storm can produce strong winds capable of causing tree damage, power outages and damage to weak structures in the vicinity of where it makes landfall. Coastal flooding can also occur near and north of where the storm moves onshore.

"The greatest danger from Usagi will be flooding and mudslides as there can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 450 mm (18 inches) of rain in southern Vietnam," Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk said.

The recent inundation from Toraji has made the region even more susceptible to such dangers.

Usagi 11/22

Residents living in areas prone to flooding or landslides should prepare for potential evacuations and heed all warnings from local officials.

Roads and bridges may get damaged by the landslides or raging rivers or streams. That can cut off some remote communities, preventing them from receiving aid or supplies via vehicles after the storm.

While the storm may lose its wind intensity as it pushes farther inland, flooding rain may still press into eastern Cambodia.

Downpours capable of causing flooding and mudslides will also spread into north-central Vietnam and China’s Hainan Island this weekend.

More lives and property can be threatened in these areas if the storm turns northeastward and takes aim at these areas with more flooding rain early next week.

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