Authorities warn of approaching cold snap

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A woman from the Bunong indigenous group walks home in Mondulkiri province. POST STAFF

The authorities of several border provinces have been told to pay close attention to elderly residents as a northeast monsoon brings chilly weather from January 25-31.

Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri, Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces will be affected by a high pressure front over China which will bring strong to moderate monsoons, warned a January 24 notice from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

It said the central lowlands would see moderate temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius to 22°C and highs of 28 to 33°C. The highlands and Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey province may drop to as low as 15°C in the early morning.

Coastal areas are unlikely to see such low temperatures, but will experience gusting winds and high seas.

Oddar Meanchey deputy governor Dy Rado said local authorities are always made aware of severe weather warnings, and made sure the local populace is prepared for it.

He said he is not concerned by the coming cool weather, as the provincial authorities are already prepared to cope.

“As the weather will get cold soon, local authorities have advised people to take care of their health, and suggested that the elderly stay indoors,” Rado said.

Ratanakkiri governor Nhem Sam Oeun said his officials are also ready to handle the adverse conditions.

“We have advised authorities at all levels – from villages, communes, districts and the provincial level – to warn people about the coming cold spells,” he said.

He added that officials would provide warm clothing to the elderly and those who do not have shelter, or family members who can support them.

“Local authorities are responsible for checking on their situation, and making sure they have what they need. If they cannot afford it, we will take care of them during the cold spell,” he said.

Mondulkiri deputy governor Cheak Mengheang said the authorities would take similar measures.

“Nowadays, most of our people are better-off and can afford to buy their own protective clothing. If elderly people are not able to, we will assist them,” he said.