AS UPPER Thailand continues to be affected by the cold spell, nine deaths believed to stem from hypothermia were reported in Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Tak, Rayong and Udon Thani provinces.
In Bueng Kan's Seka district where rainfall continued for five consecutive days and the temperature yesterday morning dipped to 5 degrees Celsius, a 50-year-old man, Nic Chamnandee was found dead in his sleep at a relative's home. In Phra Charoen district, a 53-year-old man, Banjong Khotmuangyot, was found dead in his home compound and police suspected he had a hypothermia-triggered heart attack. In Nakhon Phanom where the mercury dropped to approximately 9 C, 93-year-old Bualla Khamhen was found dead in her sleep, believed to be due to the coldness.
In Tak province, Myanmar migrant worker Sanda Wae, 30, was found dead in her bed and police suspect it was due to hypothermia as there were no visible wounds or any sign of robbery.
In Rayong, worker Sith Leethong, 33, was found dead early yesterday morning after he was earlier spotted drinking alone in front of his rented room amid the cold 16 C weather.
In Udon Thani, the four people who died include a 47-year-old man in Muang district, a homeless man in his 50s in Nong Han district, a man in his 40s near a bus terminal and another man found dead in his Muang district home.
The cold spell prompted a primary school in Phetchabun's Khao Khor district to close so pupils wouldn't have to traverse in the chilly weather to school.
The province's resort Phu Thub Berk reported a temperature of 0 C with poor visibility due to fog, while Khao Khor district - as well as Muang district - reported an average temperature of 12 C.
In a chilly Sakhon Nakhon province at 7-9 C, the provincial governor sent 6,000 blankets to affected residents in 18 districts, while in Ubon Ratchathani the provincial health office reported a growing number of flu and respiratory patients among children and the elderly, up to 3,300 a day from the usual rate of 2,500 per day.