International

Storm Pabuk wreaks havoc in Thailand

VNA
At least five people were reported dead after tropical storm Pabuk, with winds reaching 70 kilometres per hour, battered southern coast of Thailand on January 4, Thai media said on January 5.
Strong winds crumbled rooftops, uprooted trees and felled electrical poles while downpours inundated roads, isolated many areas in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

Meanwhile, Surat Thani airport in Surat Thani province was ordered to close on January 4 and 5 due to bad weather.

Ferry services have been ceased. Two of the country’s biggest gas production platforms in the Gulf of Thailand have suspended operations, and their personnel has been evacuated to shore as the platforms were in the direct path of the storm.

CNN quoted the district chief of Surat Thani province’s Koh Samui island as saying on January 5 that there are about 20,000 tourists staying on the island, which is the second largest in Thailand. The island is now totally cut off from the mainland, and all kinds of transportation have been suspended since January 3.

Some 15,000 tourists are stranded on Koh Phangan island, and 4,000 stuck on Koh Tao island.

Earlier, the Thai Meteorological Department forecast that Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani were expected to be the hardest hit, but the tropical storm could impact other ten provinces.

There are fears the storm will be the worst to hit the Southeast Asian country since 1989 when Typhoon Gay left more than 400 dead. A tropical storm in 1962 killed over 900 people in Thailand’s southern localities.

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