Hurricane Update

Thousands stranded on Thai islands as Tropical Storm Pabuk hits. It is highly unusual for tropical storms and typhoons to make landfall in Thailand. The last time a tropical storm made landfall in Thailand was in 1962

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a women experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

Thousands stranded on Thai islands as Tropical Storm Pabuk hits. It is highly unusual for tropical storms and typhoons to make landfall in Thailand. The last time a tropical storm made landfall in Thailand was in 1962

By Helen Regan, Kocha Olarn and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 7:43 AM ET, Fri January 4, 2019

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) Thousands of people were left stranded on Thailand’s southern gulf coast as Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall on Friday.

Authorities had moved to suspend all flights and ferry services ahead of the storm, which hit Pak Panang district in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province at 12.45 p.m. local time (12:45 a.m. ET) with maximum sustained wind speeds of 75 kilometers per hour (46 mph), according to Thailand’s Meteorological Department.

Some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, including Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao islands, along with islands in the Andaman Sea such as Phuket and Koh Phi Phi — made famous by the movie “The Beach” — are expected to be affected by the storm during what is peak holiday season.

“It’s quite scary being here because we don’t know what’s going to happen and there is no way to leave,” American tourist Miranda Abidyer, 26, who is stranded on Koh Samui island, told CNN.

Abidyer, who traveled to the island with her young family to celebrate her husband’s 30th birthday, said they had a flight scheduled for Friday but it was canceled and ferry services have also been suspended. She said they hadn’t received any information from local authorities about the storm or what they should do. They now plan to wait it out in their private villa, which is about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the beach.

“We will hide in the bathroom if the storm gets that bad. But all we can do is wait,” said Abidyer.

It is highly unusual for tropical storms and typhoons to make landfall in Thailand. The last time a tropical storm made landfall in Thailand was in 1962, when Tropical Storm Harriet impacted 12 provinces and claimed 900 lives. The only typhoon ever to make landfall in the Southeast Asian nation was Typhoon Gay in 1989.

The district chief of Koh Samui, Kittipop Roddon, told CNN by phone Friday that there are about 20,000 tourists staying on the island, which is the second largest in Thailand.

“The island is now totally cut off from the mainland, all kinds of transportation (to mainland) have been suspended since yesterday,” he said, adding that there is enough food and supplies on Koh Samui to last through the storm.

Those left are now preparing to ride out the storm, with residents on Koh Samui boarding up houses with wooden planks. By Friday, the roads on the island were quieter and store shelves emptier, witnesses told CNN.

But it’s those on some of the smaller islands that could be the most vulnerable. The district chief of Koh Phangan and the popular diving island of Koh Tao told CNN that he was concerned that any emergency rescue operations would be more difficult on Koh Tao due to its remoteness. He said 15,000 tourists remain on Koh Phangan and about 4,000 on Koh Tao.

Locals clear the shoreline Friday in preparation for the approaching storm in Pak Phanang, in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Thousands of residents living in coastal areas were evacuated to storm shelters on Thursday, according to Thailand’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation agency. Some 5,700 people were moved to safety in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, on the country’s east coast, which is among the areas expected to be hardest hit by the storm.

The agency’s director general, Chyapol Thitisa, told CNN that for three days the army had been helping to evacuate those living in remote and coastal areas in the province and some coastal villages prone to storm surges have been completely emptied.

The Royal Thai Navy’s only aircraft carrier has been deployed along with two other ships to assist with rescue and relief operations, according to broadcaster Thai PBS. It will reportedly take 15 hours for the ships to sail from their base to Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Waves crash into a pier in the southern Thai province of Surat Thani on Friday.

Thousands of tourists have also fled the islands, cramming onto ferries and specially chartered boats.

Nakhon Si Thammarat airport is closed, and Bangkok Airways announced the cancellation of all flights to and from Koh Samui on Friday “for safety reasons.”

Tropical Storm Pabuk was expected to bring maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (59 mph) and torrential downpours. Strong winds on Thailand’s gulf coast, which lies directly in the path of the storm, could bring waves up to 3-5 meters (10-16 ft), according to the Meteorological Department.

After crossing the Chumphon Archipelago the storm will, if the current track holds, make a second landfall over Surat Thani province early Saturday.

Pabuk will then move over the Malay Peninsula towards the Andaman Sea relatively quickly, but not before dumping large amounts of rain across the region.

Holidaymaker Mandira Popat told CNN she was stranded on the small resort island of Koh Ngai, in the Andaman Sea, with her husband Akshyat Bhatia.

“There are extremely strong winds and sporadic showers currently with strong waves in the sea,” she said. “Last night there were huge thunderstorms which lasted til 9 in the morning. People are staying indoors and away from the Andaman Sea since yesterday because the sea has been violent.”

The couple have flights booked from Phuket on Saturday but no ferries are running to take them to the island, leaving them stuck on Koh Ngai, she said.

Chinese tourists disembark at Surat Thani airport in southern Thailand after tour operators were forced to suspend boats to tourist islands due to Tropical Storm Pabuk.

The storm is expected to bring strong winds, high waves and surf along with surge, and heavy rain with flooding. While the winds, surf and surge will be dangerous especially, to an area not used to seeing these types of storms, the most significant danger is the rain and flood potential.

Areas in the southernmost portion of Thailand could receive well over 250 millimeters (10 inches) of rain. There is also the possibility of mudslides from the Phuket mountain range on the western side of the peninsula.

The province likely to be worst affected is Nakhon Si Thammarat, where Tropical Storm Harriet hit in 1962.

As the storm progresses out to the Andaman Sea and towards the Bay of Bengal into next week it could become a problem for the coasts of Myanmar, Bangladesh and India.

CNN’s Kocha Olarn reported from Bangkok, while Helen Regan wrote from Hong Kong and Laura Smith-Spark from London. CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore and Euan McKirdy contributed.

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