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Temperatures in North, Northeast expected to fall further

With Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai blanketed with frost and temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius Tuesday morning, the Meteorological Department issued a warning of thundershowers with gusty winds and hail as well as an 8 to 10degree Celsius drop in temperature until Sunday in upper Thailand.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet tasked the Interior Ministry with the job of tackling problems related to the cold spell in the North and Northeast and has suggested that areas that are under 15 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days should be declared disaster zones so residents are entitled to an emergency aid fund, government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi said.

The minimum temperature in Chiang Mai was recorded at 14 degrees Celsius yesterday with frost in some areas, while Chiang Rai and Phayao were at 19 degrees and Mae Hong Son at 11 degrees. Temperatures in the North could drop by another 3 to 5 degrees during this period, Pensiri Trisat, an expert from the northern meteorological centre, said.

Chiang Mai Public Health Office deputy chief Surasing Visaruthrat has warned young people and the elderly, especially those living in highaltitude areas and those with chronic illness, to keep warm.

Buri Ram province in the Northeast has also suffered a 4degree drop in temperature to 15 degrees Celsius yesterday following two days of offseason rain. The provincial authority reported that 338,000 people were in need of warm clothing and blankets.

The Poh Teck Tung Foundation and Sawang Janyatam Foundation have provided villagers in Buri Ram's Lahan Sai and Ban Kruat districts with 1,000 sets of blanket and relief items. They have also delivered a 20,000litre drinking water tank to Ban Somjit village in Lahan Sai's Khok Wan subdistrict.

Meanwhile, the first death caused by this cold spell was recorded in Udon Thani's Muang district, where Chuchat Khongwicha, a 51yearold man from Nakhon Ratchasima, was found dead in a tent early yesterday. Doctors believe he died from the cold weather and rain as he had fallen asleep in the tent after getting drunk.


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