South braces for storms, Pattaya flooded

Residents of the southern provinces have been warned to brace for possible heavy rain from today until Wednesday while thundershowers and gusty winds will prevail in the North, the Central Plains and the East.In its forecast on Saturday, the Meteorology Department said summer thunderstorms ware likely to weaken in the upper part of the country. However, thundershowers and high winds are possible in the North, Central and the East during this period.  Heavy rains are expected in several southern provinces.Heavy rain is predicted for Saturday and Sunday in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun.Monday and Tuesday are also expected to feature heavy rain in parts of Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun. The department is also forecasting rain for Wednesday in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Ranong and Phangnga.High pressure from China on Saturday covered upper Thailand and the South China Sea while strong easterly winds prevailed over the Gulf of Thailand and the South. This would cause more rainfall with isolated heavy thunderstorms in the South. Waves are expected to be 2 metres high in the Gulf of Thailand. All ships should proceed with caution, said forecasters.In Chon Buri, heavy rains hit Pattaya on Saturday afternoon, causing flooding in several areas. Heavy downpours struck at around 1.30pm, inundating three main roads: Sukhumvit Road in north Pattaya, Pattaya Beach Road and Pattaya-Na Klua Road.A section of Pattaya Sai 3 Road at the Mum Aroi intersection, which is prone to flooding due to its pan shape, was under almost one metre of water, making it impassable for cars and motorcycles. Authorities closed the route and told motorists to use other routes.In Uttaradit, summer storms and high winds pounded several areas early Saturday morning. Storms uprooted some roadside trees in Laplae and Muang districts in the northern province. A large tent set up for an upcoming Songkran event in tambon Sri Phanommas in Laplae district also collapsed during the storm.A large tent set up for an upcoming Songkran event in tambon Sri Phanommas in Laplae district, Uttaradit collapses during a summer storm on Saturday. (Photo by Boonnam Kerdkaew)