Thailand's Meteorological Department has issued flash-flood warnings across the country for Wednesday, October 28, through Friday, October 30, as Category 5 Typhoon Molave approaches ahead of its forecasted landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday. Molave is forecast to weaken into a Category 3 Typhoon (Tropical Storm) before crossing into Thailand. At 16:00 (local time) on Tuesday, October 27, Molave was located over the middle of the South China Sea centered approximately 565km (350 miles) southeast of Da Nang City, Vietnam. It is currently sustaining maximum winds of 155kmh (96 mph), moving west at a speed of 25 kmh (16 mph).
The latest weather warning issued at 17:00 on Tuesday, October 27, states that 15 provinces in the Northeast, four provinces in the East, and ten provinces in the South are expected to be affected by heavy or torrential rains on Wednesday. On Thursday, October 29, through Friday, six provinces in the North, 12 provinces in the Northeast, 14 provinces in Central, including Bangkok, eight provinces in the East, and ten provinces in the South are expected to be affected. The full list of provinces can be found here.
Reports indicate that winds and waves in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf will strengthen, with waves reaching 2-3m (6-10 ft) high in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf, and approximately 2m (6.6 ft) in the lower Gulf, and over 3m (10 ft) during thundershowers. Shipping is being advised to proceed with caution and avoid thundershowers. Small boats should remain ashore. Strong winds and heavy rainfall could result in flooding, landslides, and disruptions to transport, businesses, and utilities as the storm system approaches and moves across country.
Powerful storm systems are common during the typhoon season from June to November, and are known to particularly affect the North and Central regions. However, a number have also made landfall in the south in recent years due to changes to storms' common paths in the South China Sea. The monsoon season, which typically runs from May to September in the northern and southern regions as well as between October and April in the central region, also brings annual heavy downpours.
It should be noted that sustained torrential rain can trigger life-threatening floods and landslides in low-lying and hilly communities. Storm surge is also a threat in coastal communities, especially upon the arrival of a storm. Inclement weather can result in disruption to travel, telecommunications, public utilities, commercial activities, and government services.
Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
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