Thailand will be spared a direct hit by Kajiki, the depression which has been moving west across the South China Sea toward Vietnam, but its impacts will be felt with heavy rain in several northeastern, eastern and southern provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meteorological Department director-general Phuwiang Prakhammin said today (Monday) that the depression is likely to gain strength and become a tropical storm.

As the storm headed toward the Vietnamese coast, he said that there was a possibility that it might alter direction northward toward the southern Chinese province of Canton and miss Thailand.

Although Thailand is likely to be spared the direct effects of the storm, the four northeastern provinces of Nakhon Phanom, Sakhon Nakhon, Roi Et and Khon Kaen, which are still reeling from flooding caused by depression Podul last week, will be battered with more rain, resulting in a second wave of flooding, said Mr. Phuwiang.

However, he said the rainfall this time will be between 50-100mm/day compared to 100-200mm/day when Podul struck.

He further warned that there might be more storms on their way to Thailand this month and next.

The Meteorological Department’s bulletin, issued today, reported that the depression, with wind speeds of 55kph, was located about 400 kilometres southeast of Hanoi at 1pm today. The storm was moving west at about 20kph and steadily gaining in strength as it develops into a tropical storm.

Heavy rain is forecast on Wednesday in the provinces of Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bung Karn, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Muk Dahan, Yasothon, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ranong, Phang-nga and Phuket.

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