53 degrees Celsius in the Philippines

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Due to record temperatures in the Philippines, in-person classes were suspended in all public schools on Monday and Tuesday. The weather bureau warned that the heat index—the perceived temperature of humidity and other factors—was reaching dangerous levels in many places. At the same time, it already posed “extreme danger in some areas.” For example, the heat index in Iba, Zambales, was reported at a record-breaking 53 degrees on Sunday.

The temperatures in the capital, Manila, and many other parts of the country felt well above 40 degrees. The population was urged to spend as little time outdoors as possible and to protect themselves from the sun’s rays with hats and umbrellas.

In the past ten days, the Ministry of Health has reported that dozens of people have had to seek medical treatment for possible heat-related illnesses. Six deaths, which were probably related to the extreme temperatures, are still being investigated. “The heat is unbearable, especially at lunchtime,” said the owner of a tourist boarding house in the Palawan region, popular with holidaymakers. “Our guests just want to hide in their air-conditioned rooms.”

Thailand is also groaning under the heatwave. According to health authorities, as many as 30 people have died from heat-related illnesses there since the beginning of the year. The local environmental agency issues regular warnings, especially for Bangkok’s capital, and urges people to stay indoors in air-conditioned rooms wherever possible. The heat index in the metropolis has recently repeatedly exceeded 52 degrees. The actual values are usually 38 to 39 degrees. Even at night, they have hardly dropped below 30 degrees for weeks.
April heralds the end of the dry season in Thailand and is generally the hottest month of the year. However, the country has been sweating in unusually high temperatures for weeks. According to experts, such extreme weather is particularly dangerous for chronically ill people, the elderly, and the overweight.

Vietnam also reported extreme heat, especially in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon); daytime temperatures have been constantly above 35 degrees since the end of March, as local media reported. Although there have been hot spells in previous years, these are becoming longer and longer.

  • source: APA/picture: pixabay.com
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