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Tourists flee resort islands of Thailand due to tropical storm Pabuk

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With rain already pouring around the Gulf of Thailand and is expecting torrential downpours, locals and tourists are being urged to prepare and evacuate the 16 provinces Tropical Storm Pabuk is expected to make landfall.

Thousands of tourists have fled many of the Thai resort islands such as Koh Tao and Koh Phangan as it foresees a dangerous combination of heavy rain, wind and 22-feet waves. Tourists were advised to evacuate the resort islands since Wednesday, with ferries back to the Thai mainland fully booked.

Despite the tens of thousands of tourists leaving the islands, a few still stayed on the islands to brave the storms.

Pabuk will be southern Thailand’s first tropical storm in 30 years, outside the monsoon season. The storm is expected to hit Si Thammarat and Surat Thani, which is home to popular resort islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, as well as Koh Samui. Phuket and Koh Phi Phi are also expected to get affected.

The tropical storm wind speed was of 104km per hour but is unlikely to turn into a full blown typhoon, according to forecasters. Pabuk is set to bring waves as high as seven meters, having officials warning and putting up red flags along the shore to indicate danger.

Pabuk is also expected to bring heavy rains across Thailand’s neighbouring countries, Malaysia and Myanmar.

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