Samui flights resume, but Thai death toll rises
Published on Apr 1, 2011
Fifteen people known to have died as unseasonal weather continues in southern Thailand...
Flights to the flood-hit Koh Samui restarted yesterday, evacuating hundreds of tourists who had been left stranded on the island. Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways and other carriers finally relaunched services to Samui International Airport on Wednesday, after two days of cancellations had left thousands of travellers unable to leave the fl oodhit resort island. The unseasonal weather conditions have continued to wreak havoc in southern Thailand however with severe fl ooding reported to have killed 15 people across the region. At least four people were reported to have died in a mudslide in Krabi province, while a further 20 remain missing. Local media reports suggest however, that as many as 10 people have died in the incident. Heavy rain and flooding has swept across Thailand’s southern resort provinces over the past week, pouring misery on the region in what should be one of the hottest months of the year. The provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Trang, Krabi and Phatthalung have been the hardest hit. The Thai navy has reportedly evacuated tourists from the diving haven of Koh Tao, while other tourists are believed to be stranded on the Similan and Surin Islands, off the Andaman coast. “There are roughly one million people aff ected in many provinces. At first we thought the flood would last a day or two, but now it has already been one week,” Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, was reported saying yesterday. “We advise tourists to stay in hotels and not to travel to the airport until the situation returns to normal, so far food and utilities are still adequate but I worry about stocks of diesel,” he added. The problem is not likely to ease any time soon, however. The Thai Meteorological Department has said that heavy rains on both the Gulf and Andaman coasts of Thailand will last until next week.
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