Chiang Rai braces for cold spell
THEERAWAT KHAMTHITA & JAKKRIT WAEWKRAIHONG
Residents in Chiang Rai's low-lying and mountainous areas have been warned to brace for another cold spell coming down from China. Sompol Supakarn, the chief of the Chiang Rai meteorological station, said the mercury plunged to a record low of 9.9 degrees Celsius in Muang district yesterday. In the mountains, the coldest temperature was recorded at Ban Santi Kiri in Mae Fah Luang district at 3-4 degrees Celsius.
People in the province have also been told they face a long winter, with the chilly weather expected to continue until early March and not February as in previous years.
The cold spell has had a tremendous effect on hilltribe people in tambon Huay Chompu of Muang district with more than 200 elderly people and children falling ill. Many young children who do not have enough warm clothes are suffering from pneumonia.
Meanwhile, Khao Saming district in the eastern province of Trat has been declared a disaster zone with severe drought.
Deputy provincial governor Wichai Prapanroj said a vast area of orchard, stretching over several thousand rai in three tambons of Khao Saming district, has experienced severe water shortages.
However Sompoj Chusiri, the chief of the Trat irrigation office, said major reservoirs across the province have sufficient water for the coming months.