PTT evacuating some staff from offshore oil rigs ahead of arrival of tropical storm Pa Buk
PTT Exploration and Production Company has started evacuating some of its staff working on the oil rigs in the Gulf of Thailand to the shore in southern province of Songkyla ahead of the anticipated arrival of tropical Pa Buk which is moving toward the Gulf of Thailand tomorrow with a maximum wind speed at its epic centre of 65 kph.
A company’s statement issued on Tuesday said the evacuation of some of the staff and contractors who are unable to work under turbulent weather was a precautionary measure to brace for the tropical storm which has the potential to threaten their safety.
The statement also said that exploration and maintenance activities had been temporarily suspended while offshore rigs as well ans support ships had been moved out of the path of the storm since December 31.
However, the statement said gas production activities have not been affected yet and the operations continue as usual.
In its 5th announcement issued at 5.30 pm today (Tuesday), the Meteorological Department said that tropical storm Pa Buk was moving southward slightly toward the western direction through Vietnamese peninsula into the Gulf of Thailand tomorrow and Thursday and this would cause heavy up to very heavy rain in the southern region on January 3-5.
Heavy up to very heavy rain are predicted in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Krabi, Trangand Satun provinces on January 3-5 with Phetchaburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan and Chumporn to be affected from January 4-5.
The Office of National Water Resources has scheduled an urgent meeting tomorrow morning at 10 am of all relevant units to discuss emergency plans to deal with the impacts of the tropical storm.
From its weather stimulation models, the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute predicated that tropical storm Pabuk would blow through Koh Samui and hit landfall between Surat Thani and Chumporn provinces at about 7 am on January 4.
The institute warned that the coasts in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Chumporn would face waves as tall as 4-5 metres and the areas expected to be hit by the storm include Koh Samui, Nop Pitum district of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Chumporn.