Swimming on Thailand's popular island of Koh Samui has been banned due to heavy rains and strong winds. All small boats are banned from sailing until Saturday.
Red flags have been put up on all main tourist beaches on Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, to keep tourists off the beaches. "Every hotel operator has red flags ready. We as the operators have the duty to protect the lives of all tourists," said Krisana Promkoh, vice president of Koh Samui Tourism Association.
Tidal waves as high as three metres have been reported on the island, but red flags are usually put up even at a height of one metre as a precaution, Krisana said, adding that security officials with whistles will also be on guard to keep people out of the water
Thailand's meteorological department on Tuesday forecast heavy rain and strong winds as tropical storm Kai-Tak descends from the South China Sea between Friday and Sunday, with tidal waves expected to reach as high as four metres.
All small boats are banned from sailing until Saturday. In mid-October, a Russian tourist ignored a red flag and drowned in the Andaman Sea off the island of Phuket.
Flash floods caused by heavy rainfalls have killed 37 people across 11 southern provinces since late November, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.