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Tropical Storm Pabuk makes landfall in southern Thailand, delivering flooding rain

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 05, 2019, 1:01:54 AM EST


Tropical Storm Pabuk turned deadly as damaging winds and flooding rains slammed southern Thailand to end the week.

Pabuk was named on Tuesday and made landfall in southern Thailand on Friday evening, local time.

The storm turned deadly on Friday, when Reuters reported that one person was killed when a fishing boat capsized in the strong winds of the storm.

The rain can total 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 400 mm (16 inches) across southern Thailand through Saturday evening. This can lead to widespread, dangerous flash flooding and increase the threat of landslides.

Provinces in Thailand from Narathiwat to Prachuap Khiri Khan will be at risk for these flooding downpours.

PabukFriPM


Pabuk slammed into the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat Friday afternoon, local time. The storm is anticipated to then emerge off the western coast around Phang-nga on Saturday morning.

The last time a severe tropical storm hit Thailand was when Linda struck in late 1997. The strength of Pabuk is not expected to rival that of powerful Typhoon Gay from 1989.

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Ahead of the storm, ferry services were suspended and residents were being evacuated from parts of southern Thailand on Thursday, including to and from the island of Koh Phangan.

Bangkok Airways canceled all flights to and from Koh Samui, according to Reuters.

Authorities are planning to prepare for the storm by digging canals to funnel floodwaters, mobilizing rescue vehicles, ordering all boats to be docked and preparing medical facilities, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Thailand Pabuk Jan 3

A Thai woman stands behind a sandbank, built to protect properties of seaside communities in Songkhla, Thailand, on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Sumeth Panpetch)


Two natural gas platforms in the path of Pabuk suspended operations and evacuated workers.

Rough surf being stirred in the Gulf of Thailand from Pabuk is being blamed for the death of a Russian tourist on Wednesday.

According to the AP, he drowned trying to rescue his daughter who was battling the strong surf. The man was tossed against some rocks and lost consciousness.

After crossing southern Thailand, Pabuk may still be a tropical storm when it crosses the northern Andaman Islands with heavy rain and locally damaging winds this weekend.

The storm may then weaken but can still deliver heavy rain and a risk of flooding to central and northern Myanmar early next week.

Pabuk already brought deadly flooding to parts of the Philippines last week.

Catarman, in the Philippines, received 470 mm (18.5 inches) of rain in less than 48 hours from Friday into Saturday. Rainfall also topped 300 mm (12 inches) in Alabat and Legazpi City.

As of Wednesday, at least 85 people have died and more remain missing, according to Reuters. This is mainly due to mudslides triggered by the heavy rain in Benguet province.

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