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Pabuk storm surge sweeps across Pak Phanang district

Pabuk storm surge sweeps across Pak Phanang district

Officials said the victim was among the crew of a fishing boat that capsized in strong winds.

Tropical storm Pabuk crossed the coast in Pak Phanang district of Nakhon Sri Thammarat this afternoon (Jan 4) and was weakening into a depression as it moved towards neighbouring Surat Thani.

They hadn't been too badly affected by the storm, as their hotel had a generator for the intermittent power outages and there was plenty of water and food available, Lynne Davis said.

"Ten thousand tourists are still on Koh Pha-ngan", said Krikkrai Songthanee, district chief of the island famous for its "full moon" parties.

Looi said Pabuk has been described as "unusual" because it is "taking place outside of the monsoon season for this part of the world", noting that the last time something like this happened in Thailand was three decades ago.

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said: "Tropical Storm Pabuk has made landfall in Thailand over Pak Phanang, Nakhon Si thammarat and is moving in a northwesterly direction".

Torrential rain was possible Thursday through Saturday for Thailand's southern provinces and islands popular with domestic and foreign tourists.

It continued to warn of strong winds and waves 3-5 metres high in the Gulf of Thailand and 2-3 metres in the Andaman Sea.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said the storm will lash southern Thailand's east coast through Saturday, with the two provinces of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat expected to be hardest hit.

The acting mayor of Koh Tao, one of Southeast Asia's finest diving spots, said boats to Chumphon on the mainland were crammed with tourists, but several thousand guests were still on the island likely to fearless the storm.

They had stayed inside during the worst of the storm, which she described as "pretty wild".

The National Disaster Warning Center also sounded alarms around tourist beach destinations, such as Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, urging people to leave high-risk areas for higher ground.

There are fears that the storm will be the worst to hit Thailand since 1989, when Typhoon Gay left more than 400 dead. Police patrolled beaches, although many were nearly deserted. But this time, we got a tropical storm coming.

The storm passed about 300km (180 miles) south-southwest of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh city at midday Thursday, and was expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the Mekong Delta, the country's major area for rice and aquaculture production.