Friday, January 16, 2009

In Thailand, the Weather Drops... Cold

Tropical Thailand declares emergency as cold hits
Posted: 13 January 2009 1524 hrs
Source from:Channel News Asia

BANGKOK - A severe cold snap in Thailand prompted authorities Tuesday to declare an emergency zone across more than half of the country normally renowned for its tropical weather, climate officials said.

Local media have reported up to five deaths as a result of exposure to unusually cold conditions but the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said they were still verifying the reports.

As temperatures fell to four degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts, officials said 42 of 76 provinces, mostly in the north and northeast, will get a special budget to provide blankets and warm clothing.

The Meteorological Department said the temperature in Bangkok fell to 15 degrees Celsius on Monday -- cold for the capital, but still far off its record low of 11 degrees Celsius recorded in 1974.

"Because the high pressure from China keeps coming, the cold weather will stay in Bangkok at least until this weekend," a meteorological official said.

On Tuesday, most parts of north and northeast saw temperatures below 14 degrees Celsius coupled with strong winds, with a mountain in northern Chiang Mai provinces recording a temperature of four degrees Celsius.

In Bangkok, commuters and residents used to the heat, sun and humidity for which Thailand is famous have wrapped up in scarves and jackets in recent days.

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