The first tropical storm to hit Thailand in 30 years turned into a depression earlier today with the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) by 11am reporting that the centre was over in Thap Put, Phang Nga, north of Phuket.
Heavy to torrential rain has continued in several areas, with gusty winds still forecast for Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket and Krabi.
The weather pattern will continue for another day, cautioned the TMD in its warning issued at 11am (see here), while still warning people in affected areas of flash floods and forest runoff.
Waves in the Andaman Sea are still expected to reach two to three metres high.
People on Southern Thailand's eastern coast have been cautioned about dangers caused by strong winds and waves ashore. Fishermen are advised to stay ashore for another day, the TMD announcement said.
The International surf Lifesaving Association has issued a “High Surf Watch” for Phuket’s west coast, which has been extended until 6pm today. (See post here.)
Flights have resumed to the southern provinces, after closures of Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Surat Thani airports, reported The Bangkok Post. (See story here.)
Bangkok Airways, which has a monopoly at Koh Samui airport, resumed normal operations early today and added extra flights to assist stranded passengers.
The airports at Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Surat Thani also resumed operations at midday.
Most ferry services to Thailand's southern holiday islands have resumed following a suspension for the storm, the rpoert added.
Over the past few days, more than 28,000 people have been evacuated into shelters across seven provinces, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said in a daily tally on Saturday.
Authorities have recorded just one death, after a fishing boat capsized in strong winds near the coast of Pattani province, leaving another of the crew missing, though four more were safe.
PTT Exploration and Production Plc, a unit of state-owned PTT Plc, said it expected to resume operations of oil rigs at Bongkot and Erawan, two of the country’s biggest gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand, on Sunday.
It had suspended operations there since Monday and brought staff inland.