A massive storm bringing torrential rain and waves up to 16 feet high is pounding Thailand and has already killed one person

Cameron Beccario/earth.nullschool.netA visualisation of the winds (shown as white lines) and predicted rainfall (the coloured shading) from Tropical Storm Pabuk.
  • Tropical Storm Pabuk has made landfall in Thailand and is expected to be the worst storm in a generation.
  • One person has been confirmed dead, and forecasters have recorded sustained winds of 46 mph and waves as tall as 16 feet.
  • Thousands of tourists are stranded on islands with transport links cut off from the mainland.

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.

At least one person has been confirmed dead in Tropical Storm Pabuk as of 5 p.m. local time on Friday. The national meteorological service also warned of “severe conditions” still to come.

The storm made landfall over the Pak Phanang district on the country’s east coast shortly before 1 p.m., according to the Thai Meteorological Department.

Pak Phanang, Nakhon Si thammarat thailand storm landfallGoogle MapsPabuk made landfall over the Pak Phanang district in Thailand at 12:45 p.m. local time on Friday.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds are 46 mph, the department said.

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.

The person confirmed dead was killed when their fishing boat capsized in the strong winds, Reuters reported, citing Thai officials.

Four other members of the crew survived, Reuters said.

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.

Koh Samui ThailandGoogle MapsKoh Samui, where more than 20,000 tourists are cut off from the mainland.

Kittipop Roddon, district chief of Koh Samui, told CNN on Friday that there are about 20,000 people on the island.

All transportation links to the mainland have been suspended since Thursday, leaving the island “totally cut off,” he said.

But he said the island has enough food and supplies to last through the storm.

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