High waves strike southern provinces


CHUMPHON, Dec 25 – High waves hit hundreds of houses in southern provinces with about ten tourists stranded on an island in Chumphon.

Waves estimated at nearly four-metre struck the southern provinces of Chumpon and Surat Thani, prompting residents to evacuate.

Preecha Suweeranuwat, a sub-district head in Chumpon’s Lang Suan district mobilized volunteers to help about 200 households seriously damaged by waves.

Some people panicked, as such an incident has not happened in half a century. An initial survey found three houses destroyed by giant waves. Other houses are under water.

Acting Lang Suan district head Apinya Khondee evacuated local residents to seek shelter at the Laemtanod Temple.

Two other sub-districts in Lang Suan district were also hit by high waves. Up to 1,000 people have been affected.

Several dozen tourists have been left stranded on Phitak Island and cannot be connected so far, with no official reports of casualties thus far.

Meanwhile, in Surat Thani, Montri Phetkhum, chairman of the provincial administrative organization led officials with equipment to help seaside residents amidst heavy rainfall after several villages in seven districts were hit by more than 3 metre-high waves.

About 300 houses and shops were damaged.  Unusual high tide, the highest in 30 years, was reported. The province evacuated local residents to safe areas, with no reports of casualties.

In Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district, two to four metre-high waves struck the coastline. Many shops and fishing boats docked behind a breakwater were damaged.

Khao Takieb village experienced unusually high tide. Seawater has flooded houses and roads as deep as 10-30 cm within Hua Hin municipality.

Villagers said the weather has fluctuated, as there is normally no strong wind or wave in December. Sea water has not risen to flood the areas for many years.