British tourists stranded after Thai floods

Tourists make their way on a damaged road on Koh Samui island after heavy storms
Image caption Roads on Koh Samui have been damaged, and rail links and air travel affected

British tourists are among thousands stranded in popular Thai holiday resorts after severe flooding swept through the south of the country.

At least 15 people have drowned or been buried in mudslides caused by the unseasonable downpours.

The Foreign Office said they were not aware of any British casualties.

Holidaymakers are reporting empty cash machines and food shortages as the Thai navy evacuates 1,200 tourists from the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Trains to the region have been cancelled and several airports shut. Flights are now landing at Koh Samui, but a backlog is causing long delays.

Food stocks low

Some 13,000 holidaymakers are said to have been stranded on Koh Samui, with food and fuel stocks expected to run low in the next few days, the island's tourism association has said.

A British team of eight consular staff are on their way to Koh Samui airport to help stranded Britons.

A second team are heading for a Thai naval base in Sattahip on the mainland, where an evacuation centre has been set up for people able to get off the islands.

A 24-hour helpline has been set up in the UK on +44 207 008 5355.

Meanwhile in the capital, Bangkok, embassy staff are liaising with the industry travel body, Abta, and helping people to find flights out of affected regions.

Another 800 tourists stuck in Bangkok had been hoping to go to the island for a holiday, before 50 flights were grounded this week.

Image caption The Thai navy have been helping to evacuate tourists from flooded islands

The Foreign Office is advising against all non-essential travel to the southern islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, all popular destinations for backpackers.

It is also warning travellers heading to the south of the country or the islands to monitor local news and Thai Met Office weather reports, and to follow local authority advice.

It is thought up to 3,000 Britons are currently in Thailand, whether as tourists or living there. That figure, however, could be higher as many visitors are independent travellers.

The provinces of Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Trang, Krabi and Phatthalung have been hardest hit.

Floods late last year in the south of Thailand left more than 200 people dead.

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