Around 200 Australian travellers are stranded in southern Thailand as mudslides and floodwaters claimed more than a dozen lives in eight provinces.

In Koh Samui, where many of the Australians, and other tourists are isolated, the flooding closed the airport and heavy seas have halted ferry transport to the mainland. Flooding closed the airport and heavy seas halted ferry transport to the mainland.

However, with some easing in the unseasonal heavy rains, some and ferry services have now resumed.

The dead are believed to be locals.

Australian officials said they received only “a small number of calls” at the embassy in Bangkok from Australians affected by disruptions to transport. There were no reports of Australians casualties from the flooding.

Meanwhile the Royal Thai Navy has sent it’s navy to rescue the British holidaymakers trapped by the deadly floods on the islands of Koh Tao in the Surat Thani province.

British photographer Marco Ryan was among those stranded in Koh Samui. He wrote on Twitter: “Storms creating Havoc. Water to 6ft in hotels. Streets disappeared. No electricity, water, web or flights. Extraordinary.”

More than 700,000 people have been affected by the natural disaster and travel agents in Bangkok faced a huge backlog of travellers caught up on the islands after missing connecting international flights in recent days.

Thai meteorological services warned of further landslides and possible flooding in 11 of the Thai southern provinces, including popular tourist destinations of Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Bangorn Sudmuong, general manager of the Tubkaak Resort in Krabi, said the situation had been very difficult in key affected areas.

“On Koh Samui the flooding was everywhere,” Ms Bangorn said.

Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva ordered the evacuation of all residents from risky areas after visiting flood victims in Nakhon Si Thammarat. He said: “If you ask people who are familiar, they would tell you they never expected this could happen. I’d like everyone to think of safety first.”

Thailand has been facing unseasonably cold weather with temperatures in the northern provinces at half their normal reading at less than 20C, with livestock dying from the low temperatures.

This time of year is usually one of the hottest, with Thailand approaching the peak of the dry season when temperatures normally hit the low 40s Celsius.