Storm Pabuk hurtles towards Thailand

Airports were shut and ferries were closed, as Tropical Storm Pabuk carved its way towards Thailand. Tourists marooned on Thai islands hunkered down Friday, according to reports from the kingdom. Krikkrai Songthanee, district chief of the island which neighbours Samui and is famed for its full-moon parties, said, "Ten thousand tourists are still on Koh Phangan." "But I talked to foreigners last night and they are not scared, they understand the situation," he told AFP.

According to Phuwieng Prakhammintara, head of the Thai Meteorological Department, "But all tourist islands in the Gulf of Thailand including Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao will be affected because Pabuk is huge." The Meteorological Department warned coastal communities to expect "inshore surges" as winds whip up the sea.