Chaos in Thai airport as stranded tourists rush to leave islands

There was chaos in Thai airports this morning (Saturday) as thousands of stranded tourists rushed to leave storm-hit islands.

Flights from Koh Samui Airport in the south of the country - the worst hit region from Storm Pabuk - re-opened as more than 1,000 holidaymakers queued up inside the building.

Airport staff said many tourists had been stuck on the island after all flights and boats were cancelled on Thursday (03/01).

While many others had turned up at the airport ahead of their scheduled departure, desperate to leave the wind and heavy rain that continued to hit the island this morning.

Bangkok Airways, the only carrier that operates flights to the island, said many of its turbo-propeller AT7 planes had been forced to delay landing and wait in the skies until patches of heavy rain had subsided.

The company has received clearance to temporarily increase its scheduled flights to the island to 64 in just one day as they battle to transport the tourists to Bangkok.

Since making landfall yesterday, Storm Pabuk has caused devastation and wide-spread flooding in the south of Thailand.

One person has been killed and hundreds of thousands more affected by fallen power lines, trees, flooded homes and evacuations.