Temperatures dropped to 11 degrees in Cambodia’s northern provinces on Wednesday as a cold snap, predicted to last weeks, descended on the country, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said.
According to Oum Ryna, director of the ministry’s department of meteorology, the temperature in Phnom Penh fell to 19.5 degrees Wednesday and is expected to fall further still, reaching a low of 18.5 degrees today.
In Preah Vihear province, the cold temperature in mountainous areas fell to 11 degrees early Wednesday morning, Mr. Ryna said.
“Now we are worried that people staying in mountainous areas will be affected by the cold weather,” he said adding, so far, reports of health-related problems stemming from the chill have yet to be reported.
Major General Ly Chandara, deputy director of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces central command, said soldiers based at Preah Vihear temple in the Dangrek mountains are bundling up against the cold.
“It was very cold from midnight until about mid-morning” on Tuesday, he said. “But none of our soldiers got sick, because [Prime Minister] Hun Sen donated jackets and blankets to protect from the cold, and we can use the regional hospital for treatment,” Maj. Gen. Chandara said.
In addition to Preah Vihear province, Mondolkiri province is also feeling the cold, with temperatures there having dropped to between 13 and 14 degrees overnight on Tuesday.
“Now in Mondolkiri province it is very cold, and during the cold weather people can get sick, so we are already paying attention to this,” said Lek Sovanrath, the director of the provincial health department’s technical office.
In Phnom Penh, the CNRP supporters camping out in Freedom Park said the chilly weather would not deter them.
“It’s not going to affect our protest,” said 54-year-old Suth Siyan, who traveled to stay in the park from Koh Kong province.
“I will remain here to demand our vote even if the weather is as cold as it was last night and if it continues,” she said.
Another protester, 53-year-old Meak Saray from Prey Veng province, said he came prepared.
“We are not afraid of the challenge this cold weather presents us because we brought jackets, hats and gloves,” he said.
© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.