Storm Soudeler ripped through the northern coastal region on the afternoon of July 12 and lashed the area with heavy rains, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre. At 16.00 on July 12, the storm was positioned at 20.8 degrees north latitude and 107.8 degrees east longitude, about 70km southeast of Quang Ninh-Hai Phong coastline. It was packing maximum sustained winds of between 62-74kph near its centre. In the next 12 hours, it is expected to move west and north west at a speed of 20-25kph and slam into the north-eastern coastal provinces. In the afternoon, the storm will sweep across provinces from Nam Dinh to Quang Ninh and be downgraded into a tropical depression after making landfall. The National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre warned northern coastal provinces of heavy rains, high sea surges, flash floods and landslides. In Quang Ninh, all fishing vessels and tourist boats on Ha Long Bay have been called in to stay at storm shelters. Provincial flood and storm control forces and local administrations have reinforced coal mines to prevent flash floods and landslides. They have transported 1,000cu.m. of canvas and 5,000 sand bags to Dong Rui commune, Tien Yen district, to prevent sea surges. More than 1,100 fishing boats in Van Don and Co To island districts have returned to storm shelters safely. According to Hoang Thanh, vice chairman of the Co To district People’s Committee, about 400 households in the flood-prone area are likely to be affected by heavy rains and high sea surges….