THAILAND HIT WITH ITS MOST POWERFUL STORM IN DECADES - STORM PABUK
Tropical storm Pabuk has lashed southern Thailand with wind and rain, in what is expected to be the worst storm to hit the region in 30 years.
The storm made landfall at 12:45 local time (05:45 GMT), sending trees crashing down into houses in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
It is moving across southern Thailand, affecting popular tourist spots.
Thousands of people have left Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan islands but many are riding out the storm.
At least two nearby airports on the mainland have been shut and ferry services have been suspended. Tourists stranded on Koh Samui have told the BBC that the island is seeing heavy rain, wind and waves and there have been short power cuts.
The Meteorological Department said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 47 miles per hour when it hit land shortly after noon on Friday. Officials said the storm was losing speed as it moved inland, but warned that strong winds, storm surges and flash floods were still a danger. They advised all ships to stay ashore through Saturday.
One person was reported dead and another missing after a fishing boat with a crew of six capsized in strong winds, but there were no reports of major damage by nightfall. The first tropical storm to make landfall in Thailand in three decades appeared to cause far less destruction than had been feared.
Torrential rain was expected in a dozen provinces in southern Thailand, including Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani — which includes the popular resort islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Airports were closed, and flights and ferry services were canceled for safety reasons.
Beyond the early stages of next week temperatures look as the will rise again for a few days but become colder again later in the week but there is a lot of uncertainty yet after early next week..
The latest update from the CFS , and GFS operational runs show the risk of northern blocking over the last few days of January and into February which would increase the chance of colder weather. Anyone talking about beasts from the east folks best you do is ignore because there are not signs of such weather in the coming 10 days.
I will continue to keep a eye on the weather for early next week and update again later in the week.
Wind from tropical storm Pabuk slowed to 55 kilometers per hour (34 mph) from 65 kph Saturday 5th January before crossing the peninsula to the Andaman Sea at 9 a.m. Bangkok time, the Meteorological Department said in its latest update. Bangkok Airways Pcl resumed flying on Saturday between Bangkok and Koh Samui to pick up stranded passengers after suspending flights on Friday, according to an airline statement.
The storm disrupted the peak period for the Thai tourism industry, which makes up for about a quarter of the country’s economy. Overseas visitor numbers had only just recovered after a slump following a tour boat accident off Phuket in July that killed dozens of Chinese holidaymakers.
The economic loss from the tropical storm may reach 5 billion baht ($156 million), the Bangkok Post reported, citing local authorities. One fisherman was killed, while another is still missing, according to the newspaper.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha ordered the military, police, civil officials and volunteers to prepare for rescue and rebuilding, the government said on its website.
PTT Exploration & Production PCL suspended energy production from its platforms near the path of storm. Output of natural gas and crude oil has dropped and the government is seeking imports to ensure there’s no disruption to electricity production, the energy ministry said Wednesday.
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