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  • Voltaire Staff

Several parts of Asia in grip of extreme heat


A scorching heatwave is gripping Asia, shattering temperature records from India to Myanmar to the Philippines and disrupting daily life for millions.


Climate experts attribute the intensifying heatwaves to climate change, exacerbated by the El Niño weather pattern.


India faces a deadly heatwave amid concerns over voter turnout in the ongoing elections. Bangladesh has shuttered all schools due to extreme heat, while Myanmar, Thailand, and vast regions of the Philippines grapple with drought, reported the Strait Times.


Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former chief scientist at WHO, in a post on X wrote, "Whole of Asia is reeling under a heat wave, threatening lives & livelihoods. Both #climate adaptation & mitigation are urgently needed, especially to protect the most vulnerable in each country.”


Voter turnout in India's second phase of general elections on April 26 was 61 per cent, down from 65 per cent in the first phase and 68 per cent five years ago.


Meanwhile, Kerala saw suspected heatstroke deaths, with temperatures soaring to 41.9°C, and Odisha recorded its highest April temperature at 44.9°C, resulting in fatalities.


In Bangladesh, schools remain closed until May 5, affecting 32 million students, following a court order. Classes had briefly resumed on April 28 after a week-long closure. Dhaka expects temperatures above 40°C until May 2, significantly higher than the 30-year average.


Myanmar witnessed scorching temperatures on April 28, with Chauk recording a record-breaking 48.2°C, the highest April temperature in 56 years. Yangon and Mandalay also experienced soaring temperatures of 40°C and 44°C, respectively, on the same day.


In the Philippines, temperatures soared to around 40°C in recent days, with some areas experiencing a heat index of 53°C due to El Niño. Over half of the provinces are grappling with drought conditions, including Nueva Ecija, the rice bowl of Philippines.


In Thailand, over three dozen districts have reported record-high temperatures in April, surpassing records dating back to 1958. Power usage soared to a new peak of 36,699MW on April 29, marking the third record within a week.


Bangkok's heat index exceeded 52°C on April 30, posing significant risks to outdoor workers like motorbike drivers.

 

Image source: Unsplash

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