Thailand's authorities suspended country's ferry and flight services and started evacuations ahead of powerful tropical storm which is expected to pound the famed southern beach resorts of the Southeast Asian nation during a peak tourism season.
The rain is already falling around the Gulf of Thailand. Officials warned that strong winds, torrential downpours, and rough seas were expected in sixteen provinces when Tropical Storm Pabuk makes an expected landfall on Friday, January 4.
There are fears the storm will be the worst to hit the country since 1989, when Typhoon Gay left over 400 dead. A tropical storm in 1962 killed over 900 people in the south.
Image: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
The storm was passing around 300 kilometers south-southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at midday Thursday (January 3) local time, and was due to bring strong winds and heavy rain to Mekong Delta, the major area for rice and aquaculture production of the country.
Authorities ordered people to take precautions. They sent radio alerts to thousands of fishing boats to return to shore or take shelter. Since Tuesday, they had forbidden new departures in 5 southern coastal provinces.