Holidaymakers urged to avoid storm-hit parts of Thailand

Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned. Picture: AFP/Getty
Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned. Picture: AFP/Getty
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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 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned.

Britons make over one million trips to Thailand every year to visit popular islands such as Koh Phangnan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

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

The Foreign Office has advised British nationals against all but essential travel to provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including areas such as Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

These areas are expected to be hit with torrential downpours and strong winds, the Thai Met Office said.

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Forecasters have also warned of possible flash flooding in certain areas caused by “forest runoffs” from the rain.

The storm made landfall at 5.45am GMT on Friday over Pak Phanang, a district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province in the south of the country.

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) told the Press Association now is a popular time to visit the country for British travellers.

“Tropical Storm Pabuk has made landfall in Thailand over Pak Phanang, Nakhon Si thammarat and is moving in a northwesterly direction,” the ABTA spokesman said.

“People on holiday in the region are advised to monitor news reports and follow any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities, their travel provider and their accommodation providers.”

Paul Bains, 44, originally from Pontefract, Yorkshire, but now living in New Zealand, is currently on holiday with his family on the Thai island of Koh Sumui. He said local officials haven’t provided much information, but it is “not the worst weather” he’s seen. Mr Bains has been livestreaming the storm from his holiday resort.

Mr Bains said: “We are safe in our hotel room, it’s been wet all day and the wind has risen since lunchtime but having been in tropical storms in the Philippines and Hong Kong it’s not the worst weather by far we have been in.

“Had a couple of issues trying to get flights re-booked as Bangkok Airlines hadn’t officially cancelled the flights on a computer system. So Malaysian Airways couldn’t re-book us for free at first but a couple of phone calls sorted that out.

“We’ve felt safe the entire time and feel people have been a bit hysterical on social media.”