Tropical cyclone Pabuk packed winds of 45 mph (75km) and brought flooding and storm surges to part of the tropical kingdom. The entire south was lashed by the storm, downing power cables and forcing thousands into shelters. Thousands of tourists were stranded on popular islands in the region, but seem to have been spared the worst of Pabuk’s wrath.
A fisherman died in southern Pattani province early on Friday as high waves smashed into his boat and another crew member was reported missing.
About 200,000 people were left without power as dozens of electricity poles were toppled by high winds or falling trees.
But the storm tracked away from the key tourist islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao where large numbers of holidaymakers hunkered down.
After thousands fled the islands, those who remained were unable to leave as airports closed and ferry services were cancelled.
Kittipop Roddon, Koh Samui district chief said: “There were no casualties, there is some sunshine today and I’m confident some tourists will be able to leave today as ferries and flights resume.”
But “red flag” warnings banning swimming along the island’s beaches remain in place.
Krikkrai Songthanee, district chief of neighbouring Koh Phangan, said: “It’s all over. All 10,000 tourists are safe… I am relieved.”
Is the storm really over?
It seems the worst has passed Thailand, but Thailand and south Myanmar will still feel the effects of the receding storm and Pabuk is set to make landfall again in the Andaman Islands.
Authorities warned of flash floods as some parts of Thailand remained inundated by a combination of rainfall and storm surges.
Pabuk it still active as it moves away from Thailand, and a cyclone warning remains in place for Thailand and the Andaman Islands.
The India Meteorological Department is warning of heavy rainfall, gale-force winds, high seas and storm surge still to come as Pabuk heads out to the Andaman sea.
The Andaman Islands are likely to take a beating next, as Pabuk is forecast to hit on January 6.
Authorities are urging those on the islands to remain in safe places.
Is it safe to travel?
The UK Foreign Office travel advice for the region is as follows:
It advises against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Southern Songkhla province.
The advice adds: “You should not that consular support is not available in the parts of Thailand where we advise against all but essential travel.”
As you can see from the map above, a much larger area is still under warning, with the foreign office recommending anyone planning to travel checks relevant advice and follows advice from local authorities.
If you are in the region, you should check your travel plans with transport providers before leaving your hotel or home, follow instructions from local authorities and monitor weather warnings from the Thai Meteorological Department.
If you need to contact local emergency services, call 1155 (tourist police) or 1669 (emergency medical services).