Wednesday 19 June 2019

Sun seekers are warned to stay away as storm slams Thailand

Storm-hit: Tropical storm Pabuk arrived at Pak Phanang
Storm-hit: Tropical storm Pabuk arrived at Pak Phanang

Lizzie Roberts

Holidaymakers have been advised to avoid areas of southern Thailand as a tropical storm made landfall in the south-east Asian country.

Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 74kmh, the Thai Met Office warned.

Millions make trips to the country every year to visit popular islands such as Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Over the winter period visitor numbers increase as many head there to catch some winter sun.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has warned any Irish citizens in this region to monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Areas such as such as Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are expected to be hit with torrential downpours and strong winds.

Forecasters have also warned of possible flash flooding in certain areas caused by "forest run-offs" from the rain.

The storm made landfall over Pak Phanang in the south of the country.

Katie Preston (23) and her partner Liam Bland (29) from Hartlepool in north-east England are currently stranded on the island of Koh Phangan after they were allowed to take the last boat out.

The couple arrived in Thailand on St Stephen's Day for a three-week holiday and have criticised the lack of information they've received.

"When we were walking to the hotel we thought it seemed quiet but didn't think much of it until we read everyone had left and ours was the last boat over to Phangan before they were suspending [the] service," Ms Preston said.

"The locals don't seem too bothered by it, they've been tying down their furniture but still been out on scooters so that's a bit reassuring!" she added.

Irish Independent

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