With temperatures dropping into the mid-to-low teens, troops stationed along the Thai-Cambodian border as well as civilians closer afield should take pains to keep warm, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech yesterday.
Speaking to roughly a thousand villagers at the opening of a fertiliser factory in Kandal province’s Kein Svay district, Hun Sen said that he was sending at least 50,000 coats to regional commanders on the border as well as to soldiers based on certain islands.
“Please be careful with this weather change; everyone has to be careful everywhere across the country,” said the premier.
“I contributed approximately 50,000 or 60,000 cool-weather coats, and hope that the regional commanders will deliver them to soldiers as soon as possible.”
Hun Sen also urged authorities to pay close attention to children and the elderly who are more vulnerable to the cold, and referred to frequent freezing deaths in Russia and the Ukraine.
Meas Yoeun, deputy military commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Preah Vihear province, said that it had been cool the past few days, but not too cold.
“In some areas along the Cambodia-Thai border, it is very cool, especially in the mountainous areas, but it’s not bad. The soldiers can still live with this weather, but some of the soldiers who were careless don’t have coats because they lost them, or did not take care of them properly for long-term use,” said Yoeun, adding that soldiers “have no problem with the cool weather at the moment”.
Chan Yutha, cabinet chief and spokesman of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said that lows had hovered between 16 and 18 degrees in recent days, returning to normal on Thursday, only to dip again from December 31 to January 6.
“It is not serious, because the cool temperatures will be around 16 to 18 degrees, but there is some worry with old people and children,” Yutha said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]