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Thailand floods: rescue mission underway

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4 April 2011

The FCO advises that British Nationals on these islands ‘should consider leaving if it safe to do so', as there is, 'a continued risk of mudslides and flash flooding in these areas'.

Storms and heavy rainfall have caused flooding and damage along the southern coast of Thailand. Affected provinces include Krabi, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Surat Thani (including the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao), Phattalung, Chumphon, Trang and Satun, with electricity and communications currently disrupted across the region.

A landslide has caused destruction and a number of deaths in Khao Phanom and a massive landslide destroyed an entire village on Krabi, with many caught up in the torrent of water. The airport and coastal resorts in Krabi have not been affected, but there is heavy rainfall in the area.

Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways began a massive airlift overnight to rescue stranded tourists from islands in Southern Thailand.

Bangkok Airways operated a total of 19 flights yesterday, while Thai Airways made three. In all 2,600 passengers were airlifted.

The Thai Royal Navy has sent its only aircraft carrier, two frigates and an amphibious landing craft with on-board helicopters to deliver supplies and pick up tourists and villagers from islands in the Andaman Sea after rough seas and torrential rain left many of them inaccessible.

A spokesman for Koh Samui's tourist association warned that food and fuel stocks could run low if the poor weather conditions continued.

The Thai Meteorological Department said 'torrential rain with heavy falls' was expected to continue in the next one or two days.

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