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Koh Phangan island residents stock up ahead of tropical storm Pabuk

Residents and tourists on Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are stocking up on food and petrol ahead of tropical storm Pabuk, with boat services linking the islands and mainland to be suspended.

People flocked to markets on Koh Phangan on Thursday morning, buying meat, vegetables and other necessities after being informed of the storm about to hit the island.

“I have sold almost all of my vegetables,” Thanita Somwong, a vendor at the food market said. “I, myself have stockpiled food at home.”

Kanya Ruengsuk, a butcher at the market, said buyers bought more pork than usual on Thursday after they realised the ferry service would be suspended on Thursday.

Motorists have been filling up at petrol stations on Koh Phangan and Koh Samui  since Wednesday, fearing a shortage if the sea connection with the mainland is cut off.

Twitter accounts also showed local and foreign shoppers stocking up at markets, supermarkets and convenience stores on the island. Many were leaving the islands before the boat service is suspended.

Koh Phangan district chief Krirkkrai Songthni said all people living by the shore had been advised to move to higher ground at Koh Phangan Suksa School, which was set up as a temporary shelter. Swimming was now prohibited at all beaches on the island because of the approaching storm, he added.

A radar weather map at 11am on Thursday shows rain from storm Pabuk will blanket the southern region. (Photo: Thai Meteorological Department)

Ferry services between the islands and mainland will be suspended, starting Thursday. Raja Ferry is the latest to announce the cancellation of the boat leaving at 10.30pm on Thursday. All boats will be kept in port on Friday and from 5am to 10am on Saturday.

Seatran’s last ferry will leave Koh Samui and Don Sak at 1pm on Thursday, with full services scheduled to resume on Sunday.

People living by the coast in other provinces have evacuated their belongings and boats for safety.

Strong winds were gathering pace in southern provinces after calm seas on Thursday morning. The latest warning from the Meteorological Department at 5am on Thursday confirmed the storm will move through Nakhon Si Thammarat on Friday night.

It will affect the South from Thursday to Saturday, with widespread rainfall, strong winds and some torrential downpours. People should beware of the severe conditions. 

The tropical storm Pabuk is moving on a northwesterly track and is expected to leave the Andaman coast on Sunday, the weather office said.

Thank you to Bangkok Post “Samui, Phangan residents stock up ahead of storm Pabuk” which was brought to us by Google Alerts.

Photo credit @ Bangkok Post & @ Thai Meteorological Department

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