21 May 2024

Tropical storm Pa Buk landed in Pak Phanang and Tha Sala districts of Nakhon Si Thammarat province at about 12.45 pm today, uprooting trees and power poles and putting Pak Phanang municipal under water of 50-100 cm deep.

In its 18th announcement issued at about 2 pm, the Meteorological Department said that tropical storm Pa Buk was packed with wind of 75 kph at its epic-centre when it made landfall in the two coastal districts of Pak Phanang and Tha Sala districts.

The storm is moving across the mainland in the northwestern direction toward neighbouring Surat Thani province at a speed of 18 kph and would soon weaken into a depression, but will continue to cause heavy and very heavy rain.

Residents in Pak Phanang township said the municipal area and the 100-year market are heavily flooded and impassable to all vehicles.  Whipped up by strong wind and waves, sea water has flooded Tambon Pak Nakhon municipal in Muang district and the Pak Nakhon road.

Reporters said the beach road from Pak Phanang to Hua Sai districts were deserted as most residents have already evacuated to temporary shelters set up by the provincial administration or to take refuge with their relatives who live further inland.

Abourt 1,000 evacuaees from Tambon Laem Taloompook and Tambon Bang Phra have taken shelter at the Pak Phanang municipal’s gymnasium.  Electricity supply to the gym was cut off by strong wind, prompting officials to resort to generators to produce power.

The howling wind has rattled the roof of the gym occasionally, causing panic among several of the evacuees fearing that the roof might cave in.

The extent of the destruction caused by Pa Buk cannot be assessed yet as the storm is still looming over Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani provinces.

Dom Chueypradit, a 77-year-old resident of Tambon Laem Taloompook who went through the onslaught of tropical storm Harriot 57 years ago told the media that Harriot and Pa Buk were equally intense and terrifying, but houses today were much stronger and communication system far better than it was in the old days.

Another Laem Taloompook resident, 81-year-old Mrs Nub Boonsong, admitted that she was concerned with her beach-front home and properties, but had to opt for own safety as priority.

A resident of Betong district, Yala province, 43-year-old Doroh Kayae, has travelled all the way from his home town to the evacuation centre in Pak Phanang district since yesterday just to offer his help voluntarily.

He said he did every odd job from collecting garbage to directing traffic.