Cold claims three lives in upper parts

Cold claims three lives in upper parts

when all else fails: A man in Phayao's Dok Kham Tai district yesterday keeps warm by an open fire.
when all else fails: A man in Phayao's Dok Kham Tai district yesterday keeps warm by an open fire.

The cold spell from China that continues to hit upper Thailand claimed three lives yesterday in three provinces.

Two people aged 60 and 92 were found dead in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chai Nat respectively, while a man aged 38 was found dead in Bung Kan.

Pol Capt Phayungsak Yangklang, deputy inspector of Phimai district in Nakhon Ratchasima, found Boonsong Thaonoi, 60, lying in the pavilion of a temple. His wife, Arom Chatani, 62, said Boonsong was already ill from colon cancer. He was trying to fight off the cold early on Friday afternoon and later died in her arms.

Meanwhile, Loi Nuthuean, 92, was found dead at her home in Chai Nat's Sankhaburi district. Her daughter, Malai Inwaree, 67, said her mother normally slept on the ground floor because she was too weak to climb the stairs to the upper floor of the house, where it was warmer. Ms Malai said she went downstairs at 5am yesterday and found she was still alive. However, an hour later she was dead. She believes her mother died from the cold as temperatures in the province had plummeted for the past two days.

In Bung Kan's Bung Khong Long district, Prasarn Homethong was found dead early yesterday morning by his eight-year-old daughter. Panwira said her father gave her two blankets the night before.

However, while some Thais were suffering in the cold, many tourists yesterday rushed to enjoy the cooler weather on many highlands in the upper provinces. Krichsayam Khongsatree, head of Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai's Chom Thong district, said temperatures in the area had fallen to -1 degree Celsius while frost, stemming from the freezing air, covered flowers and leaves, exciting tourists. The number of Thai tourists had risen to more than 10,000 people since Friday while there were about 700 foreigners milling about.

In Phetchabun, the temperature yesterday fell to 2 degree Celsius at Phu Thap Boek mountain in Lom Kao district. A tourist said the air was freezing on Friday night, which made it hard to sleep.

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