The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office has declared Chaiyaphum, Surin, Buri Ram and Nakhon Ratchasima cold-weather disaster areas, with more than 300,000 people affected.
Office director for Region 5 Wanlop Theppakdi said 324,610 people in 33 districts of these four lower-northeastern provinces were suffering from cold weather and his office had set up a special centre to assist them, sending 7,833 blankets, 2,419 sweaters, 1,050 relief bags and 376,164 other items of clothing.
Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul yesterday went to give 1,000 blankets to Nakhon Ratchasima Muang-district residents.
Meanwhile frost prevailed on the peak of Phitsanulok's Phuhin Rongkla mountain early yesterday morning, the first time this year. Manas Sisua, the spokesman of the Phuhin Rongkla National Park in Nakhon Thai district, said the entire mountaintop above 1,400 metres was white with frost and the temperature was 1 degree Celsius. The park is expecting at least 4,000 tourists this weekend.
Up north, Chiang Mai's mountainous Om Koi district at 1,300-1,700 metres above sea level has dropped to -1 or -2 degrees, affecting hilltribe residents, many of whom are ill with respiratory diseases and flu and in need of blankets. District chief Sitthichai Sawatsaen said the 10,000-20,000 blankets already given by government and private agencies were not enough for some 60,000 residents, 15,000 of them children who also needed warm clothes to wear to school. He appealed for assistance via the district office.
In the southern province of Songkhla, cold weather, strong winds and high waves as well as morning and night-time fog prompted most fishermen to stay ashore, forcing up the price of shrimps and fish.