The PM held a conference, with representatives of the 16 provinces, to discuss disaster preparations for the pending weather system.
Several Thai ferry services have been suspended and evacuations are in progress as the nation braces for the impact of Tropical Storm Pabuk - which could be the deadliest system to hit in almost three decades.
“There will be heavy rainfall and we have to prepared for flooding or an impact on transportation,” Prime Minister (PM) Prayuth Chan-ocha said, adding “we are ready ourselves, but if the rainfall is high we will need some time to resolve problems.”
The PM held a conference, with representatives of the 16 provinces, to discuss disaster preparations, such as digging drainage canals to divert floodwaters, mobilizing rescue vehicles, ordering all boats to be docked and readying medical facilities.
Thailand’s Meteorological Department noted that the storm is on track to sweep across the southern region of the country’s east coast from Thursday to Saturday.
“We have prepared three shelters and currently have about 1,000 people in them,” official, Kriangsak Raksrithong, said.
Army personnel are reportedly combing vulnerable areas to reinforce evacuation efforts. Officials have issued a warning of potential torrential downpours, strong winds and rough seas across some 16 provinces, should Pabuk make landfall late Friday.
The storm is currently moving west with maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour and could prompt waves of between three to five meters.
Fisherfolks in the south have, so far, secured their vessels. While, two natural gas production plants, directly in the path of the storm, suspended operations and evacuated their personnel to shore, said Thai state oil company PTT.
The Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces are expected to be hardest hit. About 7,000 people have been removed from the latter, with an aim to evacuate about 80,000 people overall, Secretary of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Udomporn Kan, said, according to EFE.
Bangkok Airways announced the cancellation of all flights to and from Samui Airport.
In 1989, Typhoon Gay killed more than 900 people in the Gulf of Thailand.