Lampang declares 13 districts disaster zones due to cold snap; Trang faces heavy rain, flashfloods

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LAMPANG, Dec 17 – The northern province of Lampang on Saturday announced 13 districts as disaster zones due to a sudden cold snap, with temperatures dipping lower than 15 degrees Celsius.

Lampang deputy governor Suwan Klaosoontorn said the temperature in the province has quickly dropped by at least 7 degrees over the past two weeks, making the local temperature lower than 15 degrees or as cold as 9 degrees at the top of hills.

Over 135,000 people have been affected, he said. Almost half of them are elderly, followed by the handicapped and orphans. Local authorities are to distribute relief supplies to victims by next month.

Meanwhile, in the southern province of Trang, heavy rainfall has been continuous for the past two days, creating blocked water at low-lying plain in several districts. Flashfloods also flowed from Khao Bantad Mountain damaging over 50 households in the provincial seat and forcing local residents to evacuate for the second time within one month.

According to the local disaster prevention and mitigation office, floodwaters in the area are about 30-80 cm high. If the rain stops within 1-2 days, the water will recede to its normal level.

Four districts – Huai Yot, Yan Ta Khao, Palian and Na Yong – are now under close watch for landslides in the low plains at the bottom of hills.

Local officials were assigned to strictly monitor the situation of flashfloods and landslides in the province’s 10 districts.

Until normal situation returns, tourists are prohibited from entering Trang’s 6 waterfalls, particularly Sai Rung Waterfall and Phrai Sawan Waterfall in Yan Ta Khao district, where 38 people were killed by flashfloods in April 2007.