Tropical Storm Pabuk expected to hit Thailand's tourism hotspots
Rain is already pouring around the Gulf of ThailandAuthor : Sunaina
Bangkok: Thousands of tourists in Thailand have reportedly fled hot favourite tourist spots as tropical storm Pabuk is expected to lash the country late on Friday.
Thailand's Meteorological Department said that the storm will hit the southern Thailand's east coast for the next few days. As per reports, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces are expected to be the worst hit.
Strong winds and rough seas and waves of up to 6.7 metres have also been predicted by the Meteorological department for some areas.
Thai authorities have suspended ferry services and flights. They have also started evacuations ahead of Pabuk amid fears it could be the worst to hit the nation since 1989 when Typhoon Gay claimed more than 400 lives.
Rain is already falling around the Gulf of Thailand and torrential downpours are expected in 16 provinces when the storm approaches.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said, ''There will be heavy rainfall and we have to prepare for flooding or an impact on transportation. We are ready ourselves, but if the rainfall is high we will need some time to resolve problems.''
Later, a video conference with the governors of the 16 provinces was held in which they discussed the preparations for the emergency, including digging drainage canals to divert floodwaters, mobilising rescue vehicles, ordering all boats to be docked and readying medical facilities.