Typhoon Utor forecast to drench 27 provinces in Thailand

THAILAND - The meteorological department has warned that Typhoon Utor, which was due to make landfall in China's Guangdong province late yesterday, will bring heavy rain to 27 Thai provinces today and tomorrow.

They are Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Panom, Mukdahan, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, Si Sa Ket, Nong Khai, Beung Kan, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Loei, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi and Trang.

Department chief Worapat Tiewthanom warned that this season's first typhoon gathering in the South China Sea was as powerful as Typhoon Gay, which ravaged southern Thailand in 1989.

He urged travellers to southern China, Macau and Hong Kong to check weather forecasts before their departure.

Rain over Andaman, Gulf

Worapat said the strong southwest monsoon over the South, the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand would bring abundant rain and isolated heavy rain in coastal areas of the East, as well as the southwest coast.

Wind-driven waves in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf would be two metres high and all ships should proceed with caution during this period.

In Chanthaburi's Laem Sing district, two people were slightly injured from glass cuts and 15 houses in Tambon Bang Sa Kao were damaged - nine severely - in a summer storm on Tuesday night. Homeowner Yupa Hongthong, whose roof was blown away, recalled that the storm hit suddenly while her family was sleeping on the second floor, but fortunately nobody was hurt.