Cambodian Sea And Land Roiled By Cool Winds

A tropical depression bringing high winds and potentially dangerous sea conditions arrived in Cam­bodia yesterday on the heels of a cold snap that saw single-digit temperatures in some parts of the country, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology announced.

Last week, the ministry warned that the country’s mountainous re­gions and other locations in the pro­vinces of Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng, Kratie and Mon­dolkiri would experience temperatures un­der 15 degrees. This week, the min­istry warned the same areas plus Kompong Cham, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng and Kandal provinces could see heavy rainfall, gray skies and cooler temperatures until Thursday.

“People should pay attention and be very careful, especially those along the coast. Fishermen should postpone their fishing or traveling in order to avoid various dangerous accidents,” the ministry advised.

It added that high winds averaging 25 to 35 km per hour and rain could produce waves ranging from 1 to 1.5 meters high in Preah Siha­nouk, Kampot, Koh Kong and Kep provinces until Thursday.

The depression originated in the South China Sea and is moving north, according to the ministry.

Sar Thavy, deputy governor of Preah Vihear, said yesterday that the temperature in his province ho­vered around 16 degrees with fog. “It is cold but the situation is still normal,” he said. “We just advise peo­ple to take more precautions while traveling because there is more fog.”

Visibility was also a concern for Aisi Sokuntheary, deputy governor of Mondolkiri province, who said that villagers were warned about the cool winds and tourists were warned about traveling with a limited view in the remote province.

Preah Sihanouk deputy provincial Governor Chev Kimheng also re­ported fog and cooler temperatures but normal winds and wave levels.

“The situation here is normal, if we have any change we will warn travelers and fishermen in ad­vance,” he said.

In Mondolkiri province, Chhay Thy, provincial investigator for rights group Adhoc, said temperatures in the area have been be­tween 16 to 18 de­grees since last week, leading villagers to think more about their health. He added that the cool temperatures were ac­companied by uninterrupted rains yesterday.

“It was strange. Villagers are wondering why this month is rainy and cold,” he said.

“Most villagers with respiratory problems and those with children who have problems are worried about their health because of the change in climate.”

Men Phally, program coordinator of Friends International, an NGO dedicated to helping youths who are at-risk or living on the street, said yesterday that the cooler conditions are a concern but have not turned into a serious problem in the capital. “I think it has an effect on our work because the kids are exposed to the cold and rainy conditions,” he said. “But according to our doctors, only some of the kids are getting sick. But now it is not a serious problem.”

Phnom Penh also experienced some unseasonable, light rain showers yesterday afternoon.

Dr Sea Sokmeang, director of the Mondolkiri provincial hospital, and Dr Chhour Ymeng, director at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, both reported average numbers of patients, although Dr Sokmeang worried about respiratory problems when the temperature dips under 12 degrees in the northeastern province.

“Now it is a bit cooler but the amount of patients has not in­creased. It’s still normal,” Dr Ymeng said of the situation in Phnom Penh.

 

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