BANGKOK - Thailand cancelled flights to a popular tourist island, battened down beachside resorts and evacuated offshore oil rigs as the first tropical storm in nearly 30 years menaced its southern shores on Thursday.
Tropical storm Pabuk approached southern Thailand with winds of up to 65 kph (40 mph), bringing high waves and gusty winds ahead of its expected landfall on Friday.
Bangkok Airways cancelled all flights to and from popular holiday destination Koh Samui, potentially stranding tourists. Media also reported that ferry services to and from the island were suspended.
The Thai Meteorological Department warned of heavy downpours and strong winds in several provinces, including those with popular island destinations such as Samui, Phuket and Krabi.