Asia: Schools Closed, Warnings Issued Amid Extreme Heatwave Crisis

asmaa - | World News

South and Southeast Asia are facing a relentless onslaught of scorching heat, prompting widespread concern and precautionary measures.

With temperatures soaring as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), authorities are issuing health advisories while residents seek refuge in parks and air-conditioned malls.

In response to unprecedented heat in Manila, the Philippines has suspended in-person classes at all public schools for two days. In Thailand, where heat-related fatalities have already reached alarming levels, authorities have warned of severe conditions as temperatures surpass 44.1 degrees Celsius (111.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in certain regions. Similar warnings have been issued in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh, where temperatures are expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the days ahead, accompanied by stifling humidity.

Residents, like San Yin from Myanmar, are resorting to nocturnal outings to escape the oppressive heat, highlighting the desperate measures people are taking to cope. This extreme weather is not an isolated event but part of a broader trend of rising global temperatures, accelerated by climate change.

Myanmar and Cambodia have witnessed temperatures significantly above the April average, with forecasts indicating further spikes. In Vietnam, a prolonged heatwave coincides with a national holiday, while India grapples with severe heatwave conditions during a crucial election period. Bangladesh, despite enduring extreme temperatures, has reopened schools, exposing students to health risks.

The situation in the Philippines is particularly dire, with Manila experiencing record-breaking temperatures. The lack of air conditioning in many schools exacerbates the discomfort for students. The heatwave's impact extends beyond educational institutions, affecting daily life and prompting individuals like Nancy Bautista to seek refuge in cooling facilities.

These extreme conditions are exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon, which intensifies the already hot and dry climate of the region. As temperatures continue to rise, individuals like Gerise Reyes are left grappling with ways to mitigate the heat's effects while managing expenses.

South and Southeast Asia are grappling with a formidable challenge as they confront the realities of climate change manifested in extreme heatwaves, urging both individual and collective action to adapt and mitigate the impacts.

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Philippines suspended In-person class due to heat wave