Tourists desert Thai islands due to power blackout

Authorities are trying to restore power on two popular islands in southern Thailand after a power blackout extending at least 48 hours caused travellers to leave.

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province lost electricity on Tuesday morning when an underground high-voltage cable ruptured.

Samui district chief Prasert Jitmung said on Thursday the hospital and most five-star hotels were not heavily affected by the blackout, as they had their own diesel-fuelled electricity generators.

He said a large number of Thai and foreign tourists had left the island after the blackout.

Authorities have distributed mobile generators to give temporary power on the two islands.

Prasert said power will likely resume on the two islands by Thursday afternoon.