Pa Buk weakens into depression as it moves into Andaman Sea
Tropical storm Pa Buk has weakened into a depression and moved into the Andaman Sea at about 9 am this morning, the Meteorological Department reported.
After wreaking havoc in the two southern provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani on Friday with gusty wind, raging waves and heavy rain, the storm has weakened into a depression in Tap Pud district of Phang-nga province with wind speed of 56 kph at its epic centre and has moved into the Andaman Sea.
However, the weather bureau warned that strong wind and rough sea with waves up to 3-5 metres high still prevail in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea for at least another day today and sailors as well as fishermen should stay ashore for another day.
People in Phetchaburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Chumporn, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Phang-nga, Phuket and Krabi will face heavy up to very heavy rain for another day due to the influence of the depression.
Although the actual cost of the damages caused by Pa Buk as it ploughed through Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani on Friday will take several days to assess, the Thai Chamber of Commerce has estimated that the cost would be three billion baht at the minimum.
Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chayaphol Thitisak reported today that Pa Buk had affected eight southern provinces and prompted the evacuation of altogether about 34,000 people from 31 districts. Three people were reportedly killed and over 1,900 houses were damaged in initial survey, he said.
Air, land transport and ferry services have resumed this morning.
The Samui international airport resumes service this morning as many foreign tourists were seen at the airport waiting to fly out of the popular tourist island.
There will be 57 incoming flights and 58 departure flights today, but officials said that additional flights will be arranged if there are still passengers wanting to leave.
The airports in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani have also resumed operations this morning. The ferry service between Koh Samui and the mainland in Surat Thani also reopened to normal business today.
Thai PBS news team reported this morning that the sea off Don Sak district of Surat Hani was calm and peaceful – a sharp contrast from yesterday when raging sea and howling wind sent huge waves crashing into the shoreline, sending sea water further inland.
About 100l villagers who have taken refuge at Ban Haad Nang Kham since yesterday have expressed relief that their houses were spared the wrath of the storm and they expect to be able to return home this afternoon.