Tens of thousands of tourists since Wednesday on the flight to the imminent tropical storm Pabuk in Thailand. As many people as possible are per boat went to the safer mainland, but there are also a lot of travelers left behind. Among them, Julie Van Crombrugghe (29), they, together with three friends stuck on a storm-threatened island.
Tropical storm Pabuk will likely have to Friday the popular islands of Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Samui reach. Although there is (still) no official evacuatiemelding, walk the islands since Wednesday is empty. Tens of thousands of tourists left backpacks with ferries to the Thai mainland.
“We can’t leave any more’
However, there are also a lot of travelers left on the endangered islands. So also Julie Van Crombrugghe (29) and her friend Jinte Deprez (31), the frontman of the band Balthazar. They sit together with a befriended couple, Eva Nowé (25) and Tim Desmet (32), on the island of Koh Tao.
Until Wednesday, they were informed of the impending tropical storm. Therefore, they had no chance to flee to the mainland.
‘The boat trips are cancelled so we didn’t have more of the island, ” says Julie Van Crombrugghe. ‘We are currently stuck in a bungalow on the coast. Fortunately we are fairly high up and is building a pretty solid construction. But for the security we already have an escape route mapped out.’
The tourists brands now also a nervous atmosphere on the island. “We saw how people quickly walls around their shops metsten. Everyone has a clear ration is taken. Also we have food for two days purchased. Now we have to wait in a “quiet before the storm atmosphere”.’
The peak of the storm wasn’t expected. “We are absolutely not at ease, but it is difficult to estimate how bad it will be. We try that you remain calm and don’t go out.”
Belgian tourists removed
According to weerexperten will storm Pabuk heavy rain, winds of up to 104 kilometres per hour and huge waves cause
Therefore, also affect the tour operators take the necessary measures. TUI, for example, sent a text message with a warning to the customers. ‘Currently, there are with TUI 124 travelers in Thailand. 105 reside in the respective region, ” says spokesman Pete Demeyere of TUI. “We have advised staff to the council of the authorities to listen.’
‘Because the ferry traffic during the passage of the storm can be disrupted, are travelers who tomorrow would return preventive in hotels on the mainland to be found. There are no Belgians. The first compatriots who go back to Belgium, to do that on Saturday 5 January. Measures, if any, for these travelers, morning taken in function of the situation. According to expectations, would the situation at that time is normalized, ” says Demeyere.
‘Since there are no customers of Thomas Cook on the endangered islands sit, go to our travel just by”, sounds at the other large tour operators. “We track everything well, and should the situation change, allowing the storm to change direction, we are ready to take the necessary measures.’