Durian trees wiped out, homes damaged in fierce storm

A pre-dawn storm ravaged hundreds of rai of durian orchards, whose ripe fruit were due to be harvested in a few days, and para-rubber plantations in Chumphon's Patho district on Monday.

Several homes were also damaged by fallen trees due to gusty winds.

The cost of damage caused by the storm - which struck from 3am to 6am and was followed by heavy rain until almost 10am -- was at least Bt10 million (S$407,400), according to a village headman, Khomtawan Sangkaew, in Tambon Pang Wan. Many durian growers affected by the storm feared that they would not get any compensation from the authorities.

Under the compensation rules, each grower must lose at least one rai of production, so some farmers who have lost up to 10 trees may not be eligible,