A tropical storm bringing torrential rain, high winds, and waves up to 16 feet high has slammed into Thailand in what could be the nation’s worst storm in more than 30 years. The national meteorological service warned of “severe conditions” still to come.
The storm made landfall over the Pak Phanang district on the country’s east coast, according to the Thai Meteorological Department. The department warned that “torrential downpours” would strike the mainland.
Forecasters expect the storm to slow as it moves over land, at which point it would be classified as a depression rather than a tropical storm. It could still cause significant damage in this weakened state.
Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said thousands of residents in coastal areas had been evacuated.
Thousands of tourists are trapped on some of the country’s most popular islands, including Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, CNN reported.