CHIANG RAI – Residents in Chaing Rai and Thailand’s Northern regions have been warned to prepare for another cold spell this week as temperature had been warming recently.
Chilly weather remains in the upper part of Thailand, with the temperature reading at Phu Soi Dao National Park in Phitsanulok dropping to minus 2 degrees Celsius.
With the sub-zero temperature observed since early Thursday, frost has formed on a large swath of turf in the national park, providing fascination for a big crowd of tourists. To help locals battle the chilly temperatures, Phitsanulok police commander, Pol. Maj. Gen. Trichadin Phromphaibun, handed out blankets to around 100 families in Bo Phak sub-district. The recipients of the blankets live in a village bordering Phu Soi Dao National Park, where the temperature has dropped to 5 degrees Celsius.
In Chiang Rai, the temperature at lowland areas has dropped to between 7 and 10 degrees Celsius. Many children have reportedly been sick and have to take sick leave from school. Teachers have been seen leading students in exercises to keep their bodies warm in the morning.
Lampang Meteorological station chief Thiva Phanmaisi said the temperature in the province has risen 1-3 degrees after the New Year period with average temperature in the city around 15-17 degree Celsius and 7-9 degree Celsius for mountaintops.
However, he said a new high pressure system from China will prevail over the North of Thailand between Jan 9-11, resulting in renewed cold to a very cold weather in the region with patches of thick morning fogs.
The temperature at night is expected to drop by 2 to 4 degree Celsius and frost is likely to appear in some areas.
The Lower Northeast meteorological centre in Ubon Ratchthani province also reported that cold weather will continue in the region and the temperature will drop further by 1 to 2 degree Celsius.
Ubon Ratchathani disaster prevention and mitigation official Kanchit Kongsomkong said about 45,000 relief packages for the cold spell have been distributed to local residents in 16 districts. The office is also seeking an additional Bt32 million of budget to procure more aid kits for the entire cold-affected population of 300,000 people.
44 provinces across Thailand have been declared disaster zones following a prolonged cold snap.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has reported that 24 million residents nationwide have been affected by the cold weather.
The department has set up a special operation center in many provinces in the country’s upper parts. So far nearly 300,000 sets of relief items have been dispatched to those in need.
Some provinces have also been hit by water shortages, with Singburi officially declaring the province a drought disaster zone. Trucks carrying drinking water have been dispatched to affected areas while the department expedites more assistance.