The powerful Sarika, one of the strongest storms in recent years, will bring heavy rains across northern Vietnam.

Don't expect sunshine and blue skies this week, or anytime soon.

Typhoon Sarika is forecast to hit northern Vietnam in the next few days as another strong storm near the Philippines is also heading east toward the country.

Sarika is expected to sweep past China’s Hainan Island on Tuesday and enter the Gulf of Tonkin the next day before making landfall in northern Vietnam, the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center said Monday.

If the typhoon keeps its power when it bears down on the coastal provinces from Thai Binh to Quang Ninh, it will be one of the strongest storms to hit Vietnam in recent years.

Northern provinces, as well as some others in the central region, are expected to experience heavy downpours, the center said.

Just as Sarika is ready to hit Vietnam, another strong typhoon, Haima, is now very close to the Philippines. It will soon make its way to the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam.

“Haima will intensify gradually and move in the general direction of the northern part of [the Philippines’] Luzon [Island] in the next couple of days,” according to the Hong Kong Observatory on Monday.

Severe floods caused by heavy downpours and sudden discharges from hydropower reservoirs in central Vietnam in recent days have left at least 21 people dead, eight missing and many injured.

Vietnam is hit by an average of eight to 10 tropical storms between July and October every year, which often cause heavy material and human losses.

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