Thailand: Tropical Storm Pabuk Washed the Coast

Tropical Storm Pabuk has left nearly 30,000 people in evacuation shelters across southern Thailand. Floods and blackouts caused by the storm made tourist evacuate from the island. Pabuk on Friday drowned power cables and one fisherman reported dead with one assistant missing. But the storm nailed away from the key tourist islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao where large numbers of holidaymakers hunkered down for 24 hours in heavy rains, unable to leave as airports closed and ferry services were cancelled.

Koh Samui district Chief Kittipop Roddon said: “There were no casualties, there is some sunshine today and I’m confident some tourists will be able to leave today as ferries and flights resume”. Tourists and holidaymakers keen to leave the islands face long delays as transport links are slowly reopened on Saturday. The storm was downgraded early on Saturday to a depression with wind speeds slackening as it moved into the Andaman Sea, the country’s meteorological department said. Pabuk struck in peak tourist season, a blow to the cash-cow sector that is integral to Thailand’s economy. The kingdom is expected to welcome a record 40 million visitors this year.

> Alma Siddiqua

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