MAE HONG SON, Dec 23 – A cold snap has hit many parts of Thailand leaving tens of thousands of people living in cold conditions for lack of warm clothing.
A sharp drop in temperature to 12-13 degrees Celsius affected more than 100,000 people in seven districts of Mae Hong Son province, with 4-5 degree Celsius recorded up on the mountain peaks. As of now, 40,000 blankets have been given to the cold victims but the province is still requesting an additional 60,000 blankets to be allocated by the Ministry of Interior.
Some 57,000 villagers in Chiang Sean district of northern Chiang Rai province are suffering from the temperatures which have dropped as low as 10 degrees Celsius for more than one week. Chiang Rai’s 18
districts have been declared disaster zones, with 280,000 people in need of winter cloths to alleviate the cold.
Thirteen districts of northern Lampang province have been declared disaster zones, with 120,000 people in need of winter clothing. So far, some 10,000 residents have been helped. Travellers have been warned to build fire outside enclosed spaces or tents rather than inside to avoid being killed by toxic fumes.
Meanwhile, the cold is expected to linger in Maha Sarakam province in the northeast until the New Year Eve. The lowest temperature of 13 degrees Celsius was recorded at Kosum Phisai district this morning,
with some 178,000 people now lacking winter clothing.
Up to 120,000 residents in 13 disaster-hit districts of northeastern Nakhon Phanom province are now suffering from the cold weather. More than 30,000 blankets have been handed out to the people.
Poultry farms in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima are now under close watch to prevent possible spread of disease including bird flu although there has been no report of the virus in Thailand
for more than three years. Sufficient quantitiest of bird flu vaccines have been stockpiled but residents are advised to report immediately to local authorities any cases of unusual sick or dead animals.