Prajon Pratsakul, director of the local disaster prevention and mitigation office in charge of four provinces –Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun and Mae Hong Son – said that the temperature has rapidly dropped by five degrees Celsius. Local residents, living on mountains in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son are vulnerable to be affected by the cold spell.
The ad hoc center has been set up to support providing assistance to local people this winter and also to help fight drought, which is forecast to be critical in March and April next year.
Thawatchai Therdpaothai, governor of Lampang province, issued a warning for the cold snap as the temperature has decreased from about 22-23 degrees Celsius to 16-18 degrees Celsius in the past week. The meteorological department also warned that the temperature was likely to drop further.
In Chiang Rai, the temperature in the provincial seat fell to 15.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday with thick fog and poor visibility of only about 50 metres. On mountaintops where the temperature has dropped to about 5-8 degrees Celsius, villagers have to burn firewood to keep themselves warm, as they lack winter clothing.