Tourists Flee Thai Islands As Tropical Storm Pabuk Approaches – World News – African News Network | Latest African News | Nigerian News | Breaking News
Connect with us

World News

Tourists Flee Thai Islands As Tropical Storm Pabuk Approaches

Published

on

Tens of thousands of tourists have fled some of Thailand’s most popular islands and resort areas as Tropical Storm Pabuk closes in and threatens to batter the southern part of the kingdom with heavy rains, winds and 7m waves.

The islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, packed with holiday-makers during the peak Christmas and New Year season, have emptied out since Wednesday as tourists squeeze onto ferries bound for the southern Thai mainland, with swimming banned and boats set to suspend services.

Pabuk, Thailand’s first tropical storm in the area outside of the monsoon season for around 30 years, is poised to hit the two islands as well as neighbouring Koh Samui on Friday afternoon, before cutting into the mainland.

Packing winds of 104km/h, Pabuk is unlikely to intensify into a full-blown typhoon, according to forecasters.

“But we expect waves as high as five or seven metres near the eye of the storm,” Phuwieng Prakammaintara, head of the Thai Meteorological Department, told reporters.

READ:  President Trump's Former Lawyer, Michael Cohen Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison

No official evacuation order has been given but tourists are leaving in droves, with those unable to book flights preparing to see out the storm on eerily deserted islands.

“I think the islands are almost empty… between 30 000 to 50,000 have left since the New Year’s Eve countdown parties,” Krikkrai Songthanee, Koh Phangan district chief, told AFP.

The acting mayor of Koh Tao, one of Southeast Asia’s finest diving spots, said boats to Chumphon on the mainland were crammed with tourists, but several thousand guests were still on the island likely to brave the storm.

“It’s difficult to predict the severity of the storm so people should comply with authorities’ recommendations.”

READ:  Desperate Indonesians Flee Quake Zone, With Scale Of Disaster Unclear

On Koh Samui, a Russian man drowned on Wednesday after his family ignored warnings not to go into the sea.

Bangkok Airways, which has a virtual monopoly on the air route to the island, cancelled all flights in and out of Samui on Friday.

Authorities prepared shelters for tourists who decided to wait out the storm or who could not secure seats on ferries for the mainland before services are suspended late Thursday.

Pabuk, which means a giant catfish in Lao, is also expected to dump heavy rain across the south, including tourist hotspots in the Andaman Sea such as Krabi and Phuket.

The Similan National Park, home to pristine beaches and bays, has been closed until Saturday as a precaution as the storm bites hard into business during the peak season.

READ:  Pope Urges Europe To Help Stranded Migrants

“I was supposed to stay on a boat and dive all day tomorrow (Friday),” Annick Fleury, a 29-year-old tourist from Geneva told AFP in Khao Lak near Phuket, one of hundreds cutting short – or re-routing – their diving holidays in the Andaman area.

“If I can go to Krabi, I’ll try to get there tonight. Otherwise I’ll have to book myself into a nice hotel and just wait for the storm to pass.”

The southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala near the Malaysia border are also bracing for flooding.

Thailand’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism. The kingdom is expected to welcome a record 40 million people this year, many bound for its southern beaches and resorts.

World News

Bombers Who Carried Out Attacks In Sri Lanka Were Well Educated – Investigators

Published

on

By

Bombers Who Carried Out Attacks In Sri Lanka Were Well Educated - Investigators

Investigation into Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 350 persons entered a fourth day on Wednesday.

Investigators say the suicide bombers who struck churches and hotels were all well-educated, middle-class Sri Lankans.

There were nine of them, eight men and one woman — including the man described as the leader of the homegrown, militant Islamist group that was blamed for the attack.

READ:  4 Trapped Thai Boys Successfully Evacuated From Cave

Indian intelligence officials revealed it was the last in a series of unheeded alerts, including an intelligence memo, written at least 10 days before the bombings, that warned of attacks on churches.

President Maithripala Sirisena has requested the resignations of defense secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, and Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara.

READ:  Thailand's General Election To Hold In February 2019

Meanwhile, victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka were laid to rest on Tuesday, with one funeral procession following another all day.

Giving the victims in Negombo a Christian burial essentially required a mass grave, and a whole new cemetery had to be hastily dug to bury more than a hundred bodies. The graves are simple mounds, covered in flowers.

READ:  Indonesia Quake Survivors Await Help As Death Toll Climbs

Family, neighbors and friends looked on, still trying to absorb the community’s staggering loss.

Continue Reading

World News

Iranian Foreign Minister Condemns Trump Silence On Saudi Mass Execution

Published

on

By

Iranian Foreign Minister Condemns Trump Silence On Saudi Mass Execution

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticised the administration of US president Donald Trump for not condemning a mass execution of prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia beheaded 37 of its citizens for what it said were “terrorism”-related crimes, publicly pinning two of the bodies to a pole as a warning to others.

READ:  The Thai Charmer Who Made A Fortune And Won Soccer's Biggest League

Tehran and Washington have taken in tit-for-tat measures to label each other’s military as “terrorist” recently, following Trump administration’s decision on Monday to end waivers for country’s importing oil for Iran.

READ:  Indonesia Quake Survivors Await Help As Death Toll Climbs

Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said in a statement that the prisoners were found guilty of attacking security installations with explosives, killing a number of security officers, and cooperating with “enemy organizations” against the interests of the country.

READ:  Rescued Thai boys, Coach Released From Hospital

Rights groups say each year, between 2015 and 2017, Saudi Arabia executed at least a hundred fifty prisoners.

Continue Reading

World News

North Korea’s Kim Arrives In Russia Ahead Of Summit With Putin

Published

on

By

North Korea's Kim Arrives in Russia Ahead of Summit With Putin

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok ahead of his planned summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

READ:  The Thai Charmer Who Made A Fortune And Won Soccer's Biggest League

Russian state television showed Kim stepping out of his green private train at a railway station in the Eastern Port City, Wednesday afternoon under a leaden sky.

READ:  Venezuelan Deputy Minister Says More Russian Troops Could Arrive

Kim and Putin are set to meet for the first time Thursday, but there is no plan to sign any agreements or make a joint statement.

READ:  Indonesia Quake Survivors Await Help As Death Toll Climbs

Kim’s visit to North Korea’s northern neighbor comes amid an impasse in the nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe to ANN News Alert

Be the first to receive the latest news from Africa and around the world.

%d bloggers like this: