Cyclone Pabuk

Posted on January 3, 2019


The last few days on Koh Tao have been chaotic. Locals are laying sandbags, nailing tarpaulin in place and concrete shutters are coming down fast. Tourists are stockpiling water and essentials and all ferries have been cancelled. Cyclone Pabuk is due to hit Koh Tao tonight.

Meteorologists say it’s the first time in more than 65 years that a storm of this magnitude is expected at this time of year. “Unprecedented”.

My German friends were due to leave today but they’ve been unable to secure a seat on an outgoing ferry. So they’re stranded here for at least three days. Great news for me, but like hundreds of other tourists their plans have been turned upside down.

Flights in and out of Koh Samui have been cancelled and that island is expected to be hit the hardest. Tao is further south so right now predictions are 50:50. It could hit us directly or it could pass us. Only the Gods know.

I’ve survived many a tropical depression and hurricane – Fiji, Hong Kong, Mexico, Honduras and The Caribbean over the years. There’s not a lot you can do but sit it out indoors and wait.

Power will most likely go; falling trees and coconuts are the biggest danger. Flooding and damage externally. Thankfully my digs are in a concrete building. I’ve checked the balcony and it’s unlikely I’ll have a tree crash through my window. But I do have a ring side seat of the ocean. I’m on the first floor but high enough to avoid flooding. “One hundred and forty seven millimetres of rainfall is expected,” say experts. Roads will definitely be waterlogged.

The aftermath, in my opinion, is always the worse bit. In a few days time I’ll let you know how it went.