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Severe Cold Spell Blankets 36 Provinces



Villagers in Buri Ram province sit by the fire to keep themselves warm as cold weather hits the country. (Photo by Pikool Kaewhawong)

CHIANG RAI – A cold spell has hit most provinces in the northern and northeastern regions with more than 6 million people in particular battling the harsh weather conditions, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on Sunday.

Thirty-six provinces have been declared as cold disaster zones, including Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Uttaradit, Lampang, Phrae, Nan, Tak, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok, Lamphun and Uthai Thani in the North.

Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Si Sa Ket, Bung Kan, Yasothon, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Surin, Buri Ram, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima in the  Northeast are in the zones.

Ratchaburi, Suphan Buri, and Kanchanaburi in the central region complete the list.

The government has delivered 293,415 relief supply packs to more than 20.9 million households in 36 provinces across the nation hit by the severe cold spell, the department said.

Department chief Chatchai Promlert said more than six million people living in 39,174 tambons in 3,281 districts are badly affected by the cold weather.

Supplies include 203,779 blankets, 83,500 jackets and 6,136 sets of woollen hats, gloves and socks, he said. Local authorities are tasked with distributing the items.

Mr Chatchai said the department has deployed officials at help centres in various provinces to provide assistance to those affected by the cold weather.

He urged the public to be cautious in regards to fire safety due to the dry conditions and take road safety precautions because of heavy fogs.

Temperatures in most areas in Thailand except the southern provinces are below 20 degrees Celsius, with some areas experiencing single-digit figures, notably around mountainous regions. –  Bangkok Post

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