‘Disaster zone’ in Thai Pattaya: Dramatic footage reveals scale of tropical storm aftermath

© Steven Garcia
The mayor of tourist mecca Pattaya, central Thailand, declared the city a “disaster zone” after the place was hit by tropical storm Vamco that caused heavy floods. The heavy rains sent fierce torrents of water down the streets, videos recorded by witnesses showed.

The floods were caused by tropical storm Vamco which formed on September 10, in the South China Sea and hit Thailand on Tuesday. It later moved to Vietnam.

On Thursday, Thai Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda declared Pattaya a flood disaster area. The minister explained that the decision would pave the way to getting funds for aid and the mobilization of relief efforts, according to The Pattaya Mail.

Along with the Chon Buri province with Pattaya, four more provinces – Tak, Chanthaburi, Si Sa Ket and Surin – were declared disaster zones.

The gulf of Thailand witnessed two meter high waves on Wednesday whereas the floodwater in Pattaya reached 30 centimeters, just 45 minutes after the storm struck. The city’s streets were quickly turned into streams of up to one meter deep.

The disaster killed at least one person who was swept away by strong currents in Bang Lamung in the Buri province, Bangkok Post reports. Three fishermen are still missing after a small fishing boat sank about 1.5 kilometers from the shore.

Tourism activities in Pattaya have resumed except those based at sea, Pattaya mayor Ittipol Khunpluem said.