STORM PABUK: Thousands of tourists and locals evacuate Thailand as storm strikes

STORM STRIKES: Tropical Storm Pabuk hit Thailand earlier today CREDIT: Shutterstock

AUTHORITIES in Thailand have begun evacuating tourists and locals after what is expected to be the worst storm there in recent years arrived today (Friday).

Thousands of tourists and locals in areas popular with holidaymakers in the Southeast Asian country fled before Tropical Storm Pabuk struck earlier today. Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan were among the affected areas.

Authorities have urged locals who remain in the area to stock up on essential supplies and be prepared to flee rapidly if their house is hit.

The storm has already brought strong winds, heavy rains and waves of up to almost seven metres high after making landfall in the south of the country.

One person has been killed and thousands more were left stranded after ferries and flights were called off.

Videos and pictures posted to social media showed coastal areas lashed with winds and waves. There are also reports of power cuts and of trees having fallen down.

Red Cross volunteers have begun delivering supplies and providing help to people in the 12 affected provinces.

The storm is expected to be the worst since Typhoon Gay which killed 400 people in 1989.

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