Updated: 1/9/2019 1:28:55 AM
Thailand has embarked on restoring the damage caused by Tropical Storm Pabuk on Friday. The storm, dubbed a first in the past 30 years, hit Southern Thailand. The country’s Meteorological Department said the storm will bring heavy rains and wind to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Andaman islands of Phuket and Koh Phi Phi were also affected. A news site, WTVY.com, reported four people dead and that the tropical storm caused widespread damage. Most airports and transport services closed while hotels advised their guests to remain at home.
Updated: 1/8/2019 3:37:55 AM
The first tropical storm to hit the south in decades killed. Officials credit the evacuation of roughly 700,000 people in eight provinces for minimizing the human toll of Tropical Storm Pabuk, which battered Thailand’s southern coasts this past weekend. The death toll for now stands at four after a missing fisherman’s body was found Sunday on a beach of Pattani province.
Updated: 1/7/2019 5:21:54 AM
Thailand’s most powerful tropical storm in decades has weakened after strong wind and flash floods disrupted oil production and flights, leaving thousands of tourists stranded near the nation’s southern beaches. Tourists on the Thai island of Koh Samui endured the worst of Tropical Storm Pabuk. The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said the storm had affected 210,000 people, with three fatalities and one person missing.
Sunny periods and scattered showers have now been forecast for the week ahead, allowing thousands of tourists who have booked holidays on the paradise island to continue their plans. However, “red flag” warnings banning swimming off beaches are still in place.
Updated: 1/6/2019 5:21:08 AM
"All 6,000 households living in our 7.35sq km were hit," Pak Phanang Mayor Phicheat Klasukhon told The Sunday Times over the phone. "What happened to them is devastating as the majority are low-income earners." Roof tiles were out of stock, the Mayor said, and about 30 homes have completely collapsed. Power supply was restored last Friday night but clean water remains scarce, added Mr Phicheat.
Over in Krabi, the damage was lighter. Provincial Governor Kitibodee Pravitra said that about 50 people evacuated from Leuk Bay last Friday night amid stormy conditions but they returned home hours later. "But since it has been raining heavily for days, what we are concerned about is landslides," he told The Sunday Times. "We are on high alert in 42 areas, and getting people there ready to evacuate."
Updated: 1/5/2019 3:03:29 AM
Floods and blackouts caused by Tropical Storm Pabuk have left nearly 30,000 people in evacuation shelters across southern Thailand, but tourists stranded on holiday islands were spared the worst and began to plot routes home.
Pabuk, a once in three-decades weather system, packed winds of up to 75 km/h and brought heavy rains and storm surges as it lashed the entire south of the kingdom on Friday, downing power cables and causing widespread flooding.
A fisherman died in southern Pattani province early on Friday as high waves smashed into his boat and another crew member was reported missing.
Around 200,000 people were left without power as dozens of electricity poles were toppled by high winds or falling trees.
Updated: 1/4/2019 7:49:03 AM
Rain, wind and surging seawater from a tropical storm has buffeted coastal villages and tourist resorts on southern Thailand’s east coast, knocking down trees and utility poles and flooding roads. Thousands of people were left stranded on Thailand's southern gulf coast as Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall on Friday. Before the storm, more than 6,100 people were evacuated from their homes in four provinces, according to the department of disaster prevention and mitigation.
It is highly unusual for tropical storms and typhoons to make landfall in Thailand. The last time a tropical storm made landfall in Thailand was in 1962, when Tropical Storm Harriet claimed 900 lives. The only typhoon ever to make landfall in the Southeast Asian nation was Typhoon Gay in 1989.
The district chief of Koh Samui, Kittipop Roddon, told CNN by phone Friday that there are about 20,000 tourists staying on the island. "The island is now totally cut off from the mainland, all kinds of transportation (to mainland) have been suspended since yesterday," he said, adding that there is enough food and supplies on Koh Samui to last through the storm.
The district chief of Koh Phangan and the popular diving island of Koh Tao told CNN that he was concerned that any emergency rescue operations would be more difficult on Koh Tao due to its remoteness. He said 15,000 tourists remain on Koh Phangan and about 4,000 on Koh Tao.
The Royal Thai Navy's only aircraft carrier has been deployed along with two other ships to assist with rescue and relief operations, according to broadcaster Thai PBS. It will reportedly take 15 hours for the ships to sail from their base to Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The storm is expected to bring strong winds, high waves and surf along with surge, and heavy rain with flooding. While the winds, surf and surge will be dangerous especially, to an area not used to seeing these types of storms, the most significant danger is the rain and flood potential.
Updated: 1/4/2019 2:59:22 AM
Tropical Storm "Pabuk" made landfall in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, southern Thailand at 05:45 UTC on January 4, 2019 (12:45 LT), with maximum sustained winds of 70 km/h. Pabuk brought heavy rain and fears it could end up as the worst tropical cyclone to hit the region during peak holiday season since 1989. Thousands of people have left Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan islands ahead of the storm.
Local media said officials are driving with trucks through flooded streets of Nakhon Si Thammarat urging anyone still there to leave. "Anyone still inside. Please make noise and officials will help you out. You cannot stay here. You cannot stay here. It's too dangerous." authorities warn people.
Disaster mitigation officials said one person was killed from the crew of a fishing boat that capsized in strong winds near the coast of Pattani province; another crew member is still missing. A third known casualty is a Russian man who drowned off Koh Samui on Wednesday, January 2.
Published Thursday, January 3, 2019
Thai authorities suspended ferry services and began evacuations ahead of a powerful tropical storm that is expected to pound the Southeast Asian nation's famed southern beach resorts.
Rain was already falling around the Gulf of Thailand on Thursday morning and officials warned that torrential downpours, strong winds and rough seas were expected in 16 provinces when Tropical Storm Pabuk makes its expected landfall on Friday.
"There will be heavy rainfall and we have to prepared for flooding or an impact on transportation," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said. "We are ready ourselves but if the rainfall is high we will need some time to resolve problems."
Thailand's Meteorological Department said the storm will lash southern Thailand's east coast from Thursday to Saturday, with the two provinces of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat expected to be hardest hit. Surat Thani is home to the popular tourist islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.
The department said the storm was moving west into the Gulf of Thailand with maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour. It said waves 3 to 5 meters high were possible in the Gulf of Thailand and 2 to 3 meters high in the Andaman Sea on the west coast. It warned of strong winds and storm surges on the gulf side and said all ships should stay berthed on land through Saturday.
According to Vietnamese state television VTV, authorities ordered people to take precautions and sent radio alerts to thousands of fishing boats to take shelter or return to shore. They had forbidden new boat departures in five southern coastal provinces since Tuesday.
Tens of thousands of tourists have fled the Thai resort islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in a mass exodus ahead of Tropical Storm Pabuk which is set to bring heavy rains, wind and seven-meter waves.
No official evacuation order has been given but tourists are leaving in droves. "I think the islands are almost empty... between 30,000 to 50,000 have left since the New Year’s Eve countdown parties," Krikkrai Songthanee, Koh Phangnan district chief, told AFP.
"We expect waves as high as five or seven meters near the eye of the storm. Normally in the Gulf of Thailand there are only two meter high waves," Phuwieng Prakammaintara, director general at the Thai Meteorological Department, told reporters. "It’s difficult to predict the severity of the storm so people should comply with authorities’ recommendations." he said.
Authorities on the island announced the warning and put up the red "danger" flags, and said they were preparing shelters for any tourists who decide to wait out the storm.
Pabuk, which means a giant catfish in Lao, is also expected to dump heavy rain across the south, including tourist hotspots in the Andaman Sea such as Krabi and the southernmost provinces bordering Malaysia of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala.
Tropical Storm Pabuk Facts
Affected Area: 100 km.
Alert Level: Yellow