Ongoing Cold Snap Sends Chill Through Villages

Despite predictions of warmer weather to come, the cold snap continued to send a shiver Wednesday through Koh Kong, Ratanakkiri and Mondolkiri provinces, where villagers have asked the Cambodian Red Cross to supply warm clothes, CRC Spokeswoman Men Neary Sopheak said.

Villagers are asking for warm sweaters, said Men Neary Sopheak, adding that so far the cold has only caused discomfort and not led to any deaths, as has been reported in highland areas of Thailand, where the cold has prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in 41 provinces.

“Fortunately there are no reports about people who have become sick or died because of the cold weather,” she said.

The temperature in Ratanakkiri has hovered between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius during the day and dropped to a frosty 8 and 11 degrees during the night, the province’s Deputy Governor Chey Sayoeun said Wednesday. “This is the coldest year ever.”

Koh Kong Governor Yuth Phou­thang and Mondolkiri Governor Lay Sokha reported similar temperatures in their provinces.

“People are wearing sweaters, gloves, hats and socks both during the day and in the night to keep them warm,” Yuth Phouthang said, adding that the Red Cross had al­ready supplied sweaters for some vill­ages in his area.

Hang Soth, secretary-general of the Preah Vihear Authority, said that temperatures plummeted at the clifftop Preah Vihear temple Mon­day—so much so that he said he is waiting out the cold snap in Phnom Penh.

Provincial RCAF commander Som Bopharoath said that daytime temperatures have dropped to around 10 degrees Celsius.

He said that the weather is “really having an impact” on the thousands of troops stationed in the area and the handful of local residents. But in general, he added, troops are fairing OK because of a donation made by Prime Minister Hun Sen prior to the cold season’s start of thousands of long-sleeve T-shirts.

Seth Vannareth, director of the meteorology department at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said she was unable to comment on the cold spell when contacted Wednesday evening.

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