Bangkok coldest night in 30 years: Last night was Bangkok’s coldest in 30 years, with temperatures plunging to 15.6 Celsius (60 Fahrenheit) early Thursday morning, said Songkram Aksorn, the deputy director general of the Meteorological Department.
Thailand’s North Northeast, and Central regions have had an unusually long cold spell this year, which has killed 63 people over the past three months, according to reports.
A majority of the fatalities were men. The youngest was a one-month-old baby and the oldest an 81-year-old. One Cambodian and one British national were among the victims.
The northern province of Chiang Rai has the most deaths, with six. The 63 deaths occurred in a total of 27 different provinces.
Over 25 million people have bee affected by the cold weather, and 45 province have been declared cold-spell disaster zones, according to a Bangkok Post report.
This year’s cool season has lasted nearly three months already, making it the longest in a decade.
The three months of cold weather has occurred at the same time as three months of almost daily anti-government street protests in the capital of Bangkok.
Though many of the protesters sleep out in the streets, protest leaders say the low temperatures have not kept people from joining the demonstrations.
Akanat Promphan, spokesman for the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee, said “It’s been cold but not freezing, and Thai people generally enjoy cool weather the same way Westerners enjoy sunny skies”.
The unusually long cold-spell has also adversely affected Thailand’s rice crop, causing it to flower too early and resulting in a lot of empty rice husks, Vichai Sripraset, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.