SouthWeather

Hard rain stops train services in Thailand’s south

Heavy rain and high tides are bringing widespread flooding to Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Narathiwat.

Red flags in Songkhla’s Chalatat Beach advise people not to venture into the 4-metre waves that are pounding the coast.

In Narathiwat province, those living close to the Kolok River are ready to move themselves and their valuables to higher ground as the water level in the river may rise quickly. Low-lying areas are now flooded, making it impossible for cars and motorcycles to access some villages.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, people living near the Pak Nakhon estuary are ready to evacuate, if need be, to avoid high tides. People living at the foot of the Khao Luang mountain range have been told to brace for flash floods and mudslides.

In Surat Thani, all boat services were suspended yesterday and today from the mainland to Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phang Ngan, all popular tourist destinations, due to high waves and rough seas.

The Royal Thai Navy‘s HTMS Sukhothai sank in the Gulf of Thailand last night, around 20 miles from the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, with 106 navy personnel on board.

Navy vessels, tug boats and oil tankers rescued 73 crew members from the water, three of whom are in critical condition, and are still searching for 33 missing Marines.

Trains from Bangkok to Hat Yai have been disrupted by flooding in Hat Yai, forcing all trains to stop at Kuan Niang station. Bangkok-bound services from Hat Yai are also disrupted.

Additionally, train services from Hat Yai to Padang Besar in the Sadao district remain suspended, following the December 3 bomb attack on a freight train that heavily damaged the tracks. A second explosion last Tuesday, near the scene of the first attack, killed three railway employees and injured four others.

The SRT says that repairs to damaged rails are still underway. Passengers who want to take the train from Hat Yai to Bangkok are advised to check with the SRT before beginning their journey.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.