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Heatstroke Claims 30 Lives in Thailand Amid Soaring Temperatures

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BANGKOK, Thailand — Thailand is grappling with a deadly heatwave that has already claimed at least 30 lives due to heatstroke this year, as scorching temperatures continue to bake the kingdom. The government issued fresh warnings about extreme weather conditions on Thursday, urging citizens to take precautions as the heat index in Bangkok is expected to exceed 52 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit). Here are some details according to the report of The Philippine Star.

Extreme Heat Warnings in Bangkok

Bangkok city authorities issued an “extremely dangerous” heat warning, with temperatures in the Thai capital reaching 40.1 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and similar highs forecast for Thursday. The intense heat is a result of a combination of high temperatures and humidity, causing discomfort and posing serious health risks to the public.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health reported that 30 people had died from heatstroke between January 1 and April 17, a significant increase compared to the 37 heatstroke-related deaths reported throughout 2023. Direk Khampaen, deputy director-general of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, advised elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions, including obesity, to stay indoors and remain hydrated.

The heatwave has affected various parts of Thailand, with some regions experiencing record-breaking temperatures. The northern province of Lampang recorded 44.2 degrees Celsius on Monday, close to Thailand’s all-time record of 44.6 degrees Celsius set last year. The sweltering heat has also impacted neighboring countries like Myanmar, where temperatures reached 45.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

Broader Effects in Southeast Asia

The extreme heat is not limited to Thailand. Other parts of Southeast Asia, including South Asia, have also experienced unprecedented heatwaves, leading to school closures and prayer gatherings in hopes of rain. In the Philippines, schools suspended classes due to the extreme weather, and Bangladesh saw worshippers pray for relief from the oppressive heat.

Authorities in Thailand are emphasizing the importance of staying cool and hydrated to avoid heat-related illnesses. The government urges citizens to avoid outdoor activities during peak heat hours, seek shade, and use cooling devices when possible. With El Nino intensifying weather conditions, the heatwave is expect to persist, posing ongoing health risks to vulnerable populations.

These extreme temperatures and the rising death toll from heatstroke highlight the urgent need for climate action. The United Nations weather and climate agency has reported that Asia is warming at a particularly rapid pace, calling for coordinated efforts to combat climate change and mitigate its impacts on public health and safety.

Read Also: One Dead, Seven Missing After Two Japanese Military Helicopters Crash

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