Thousands of Tourists, Residents Evacuate Thailand Beaches Before Tropical Storm
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Thousands of tourists and residents alike are fleeing Thailand’s popular southeastern beaches for higher ground ahead of a major tropical storm forecast to hit the island nation.
Experts say tropical storm Pabuk will hit Thailand’s southern coast on Friday. The BBC reports that strong winds and up to 22-foot waves are expected, along with heavy rain and flash floods. Pabuk is not, however, predicted to turn into a typhoon. Officials told CNN that the storm could still be one of the most devastating in decades.
Popular beaches are in the storm’s path, including the tourist islands of Koh Phangnan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao, as well as Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. As of now, there is no official evacuation order for the regions predicted to be affected by the storm, just a weather warning. But would-be beachgoers have been leaving the southern region in droves. The chilly winter months are usually peak travel season for visitors to Thailand.
According to BBC, tourists were leaving the smaller resort islands by boat for the country’s main island, but a ban on boats in several areas has forced some tourists to forgo evacuation and stay where they are.
“It is high season, there are many foreign tourists at popular destinations,” Putthipong Punnakanta, a Thai government spokesperson, told CNN. “We have informed them in advance since two days ago. I would say most of them have left islands and come to the mainland.”
Officials are reportedly preparing shelters for those residents and visitors riding out the storm in the area.
Bangkok Airways canceled all flights to and from Samui Airport on Friday. The airline, which is practically the only carrier that flies to the island, tweeted that all affected passengers would be able to rebook without incurring a change fee. The larger Phuket International Airport will remain operational, with ground crews exercising increased caution in the heavy rain and wind.
“In order to prepare for the situation, staff have been ordered to increase their inspections of systems operating all lights at the airport, and especially on the runway,” airport officials told The Phuket News.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees