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By Huu Nguyen and Hung Phong 
26 December 2017

(VN Express) – Typhoon Tembin, the sixteenth tropical storm raging Vietnamese waters this year, weakened into a tropical depression as it entered the southern sea on Tuesday morning.

Tembin approached the coastline of the southernmost provinces Ca Mau and Bac Lieu at 1 a.m., as winds slowed down to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, compared to 135 kph on Monday morning.

The depression is forecast to continue moving west to the Gulf of Thailand instead of making landfall in Ca Mau as earlier expected.

Brewing over the South China Sea (known in Vietnam as the East Sea) late Saturday, Tembin had scared Vietnam into mass mandatory evacuation. The southern region, including Saigon, is rarely hit by stormy weather and is thus ill-equipped to deal with any major typhoon.

Officials said that a year-end storm only comes once in a decade and a strong one like Tembin is the first. Sixteen storms in a year is also a record number for Vietnam. […]

Before Tembin, flooding and storms have already left 390 people dead or missing in Vietnam in the first 11 months of this year, causing damage totaling VND52.2 trillion ($2.34 billion), according to the General Statistics Office.

Poor forecasting and preparations have been blamed as part of the reasons for the heavy toll, which surpassed last year’s losses of 264 people and nearly VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion) worth of damage. [more]

Relief for Vietnam as scary Typhoon Tembin weakens into tropical depression

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