Devastating heatwave continues in Southeast Asia

Bangkok, Apr 24 (EFE).- Temperatures remained very high in Southeast Asia on Monday, especially in countries such as Thailand, Laos and the Philippines, amid a heatwave that has wreaked havoc in the region since last weak, even as it begins to ease in some regions.

The Thai meteorological department said on Monday that the heat index, which is the temperature adjusted for factors such as wind chill and humidity, remained above 45 degrees in some parts of Bangkok and in the southeastern Chonburi province.

In April, the hottest and driest month in Thailand, temperatures have surged to dangerous levels, with authorities urging caution, especially for children, the elderly and sick persons to prevent health complications.

In Malaysia, the health ministry’s My Health portal on Monday advised people to protect themselves from heatstroke by avoiding direct exposure to the sun, hydrating and wearing adequate clothing.

Malaysian authorities have warned of heatwave conditions in the Kuala Terengganu, Kelantan and Negri Sembilan provinces, with temperatures rising above 35 degrees, although the weather is expected to ease in the next few days.

In the Philippines, the education ministry announced over the weekend that it would allow schools to hold online classes if the temperatures affected the students’ performance, as many educational centers in the country are not adapted for excessive heat.

Apart from effects of climate change, Southeast Asia is also expected to be hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon in the coming months, which results in less rain and higher temperatures.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr told reporters that he had ordered various departments and government agencies to tackle the effects of EL Nino and prevent crop damage due to lack of water.

In October, the United Nations and the Red Cross said in a joint report that heatwaves would be much more frequent, intense and deadly in the future due to climate change, even exceeding human, psychological and social limits in regions such as Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South Asia.

The report says that limiting average global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels – the target set by the United Nations conference on climate change – could save up to 420 million people from dying due to exposure to extreme temperatures. EFE


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