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Bebinca Bringing Flooding Rain to Southeast Asia

Bebinca made its first of two landfalls as a tropical storm on the eastern part of Hainan Island in the South China Sea on Saturday. Winds of 40-50 mph were accompanied by several inches of rain, which resulted in localized flooding. The storm system has since weakened to a depression, but will continue to the west-northwest across the Gulf of Tonkin on Sunday (local time) with a second landfall expected in far northern Vietnam near the Chinese border.

Heavy rain is expected to continue across the region through at least Tuesday, with rainfall totals of at least 5-10 inches across the northern half of Vietnam as well as Laos. Even heavier amounts are possible in the higher terrain in Vietnam, where there is an elevated risk for flooding and mudslides. For Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, the heaviest downpours are expected on Monday, well after Bebinca makes landfall.

Conditions will improve in Vietnam and Laos on Wednesday and Thursday as what's left over from Bebinca continues northward into China. While rainfall is not expected to cause widespread problems in China, the threat of locally heavy rainfall will exist in parts of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces as tropical moisture spreads northward.

Bebinca is the first storm to impact Vietnam in the 2013 typhoon season. The last tropical system to have a direct impact on Vietnam was Typhoon Son-Tinh, which made landfall in almost the same location in late October of 2012. While Bebinca is not nearly as strong as Typhoon Son-tinh was when it made landfall, many of the same areas which had considerable damage last October will be affected once again.