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Thailand doesn't experience the winter temperatures of -20 Celsius or lower that we get in my home state of Minnesota, but it can feel almost as cold if you don’t have warm clothing and a warm place to stay.
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It’s cold outside
Thailand doesn't experience the winter temperatures of -20 Celsius or lower that we get in Minnesota. As my boy Suchart (Kevin) found out when he paid a visit several years ago, the key to living in the cold is warm clothing, something Thai villagers often lack.
As a native of the northern US state of Minnesota, I wouldn’t normally consider the temperatures we are experiencing here in Thailand as “cold” – even yesterday’s 4 Celsius on Doi Inthanon, the country's highest peak. For me, “cold” might begin about -5C or perhaps -10C.
But Thailand is cold if you don’t have the warm clothing and the warm housing designed to cope with low temperatures.
Lacking these essentials can be deadly and the current cold spell is believed to have caused the death of a widow in Chon Buri and a man in Trat.
Suna Chandadal, 49, was found dead inside a makeshift house at a coconut plantation in Chon Buri's Sattahip district yesterday, with her 13-year-old son crying and hugging her body.
The boy, identified only as Ae, told police that his mother woke up early yesterday and had a cough as the weather was very cold. She died later in the morning, Ae said.
In Trat, Narinsak Khamwisut, 36, was found dead inside his house in tambon Wang Krajae in Muang district about 11.30am. He was believed to have died four to five hours before his body was found by his mother.
Witnesses said the victim had been drinking with friends in front of his house before he went to bed at 10pm. The victim fell asleep in his shorts without covering up with a blanket.
In the North, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation yesterday declared Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provinces disaster zones as residents in more than 400 villages have been affected by the cold.
Temperatures at the Umphang and Thung Yai Nareusuan wildlife sanctuaries in Tak province plunged to 6C yesterday.
In Nakhon Phanom temperatures dropped to 9C yesterday.
The Meteorological Department yesterday predicted temperatures in the North, Northeast, East and the Central regions, including Bangkok and surrounding provinces, would fall further by 1-3 degrees Celsius from today.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.
native – someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
normally – usually; in normal circumstances โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ
consider – to regard as; to think of as ถือว่า
temperature – a measurement of how hot or how cold a place or object is อุณหภูมิ
peak – the pointed top of a mountain; a mountain with a pointed top จุดสูงสุด, ยอดสูงสุด
cope – to deal successfully with a difficult situation รับมือกับ
lack – to not have something needed ขาด
essentials – basics; things that necessary สิ่งจำเป็น
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
spell – a period of time when there is a particular type of weather ช่วงเวลาที่มีอากาศลักษณะใดลักษณะหนึ่่ง
widow – a woman whose husband has died and who has not married again แม่ม่าย
makeshift – using whatever is available and therefore not very good สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว, ใช้ประทังไปก่อน
plantation – a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
hug –to put your arms round someone กอด
identified – named ระบุชื่อ
cough – forcing air up through your throat with a sudden noise, especially when you have a cold การไอ
witness – a person who sees something happen ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
shorts – short trousers/pants that end above or at the knee กางเกงขาสั้น
blanket – a thick cover made of wool or another material that you use to keep warm in bed ผ้าห่ม
disaster – something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage ความหายนะ
prevention – preventing something bad from happening การป้องกันภ้ย
mitigation – a reduction in the harmful effects of something การบรรเทา การผ่อนคลาย
declare – to announce officially that something is true or happening ประกาศ
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
wildlife – animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment สัตว์ป่า
sanctuary – a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions เขตสงวนพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า
plunge – to move or fall suddenly ลงอย่างเร็ว, (อุณหภูมิ)
Meteorological Department – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
predict – to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
surrounding – all around a place บริเวณรอบๆ