Tropical storm's rain, surging seas strike southern Thailand

Thai people sleep at an evacuation centre in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand. (Sumeth Panpetch, AP)
Thai people sleep at an evacuation centre in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand. (Sumeth Panpetch, AP)

Rain, winds and surging seawater are striking southern Thailand as a strengthening tropical storm nears nervous coastal villages and popular tourist resorts.

Authorities made rounds in coastal Nakhon Si Thammarat on Friday morning urging people to leave before roads are blocked. A father and a son rushed off with their belongings on their pickup truck, quickly telling reporters the roof of their house was already damaged.

Other officials helped fishermen move boats off the beach, which was being beaten up by strong waves.

Tropical Storm Pabuk is forecast to make landfall Friday evening in Nakhon Si Thammarat and bring torrential rain and strong winds to more than a dozen other provinces.

The Meteorological Department said on Friday morning the storm had maximum winds of 80km/h.

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