Thailand’s authorities issue extreme heat warnings amid record-breaking temperatures in Asia
- The advice is to avoid going outside after the heat index – which includes relative humidity and measures what the temperature feels like – hit 54ºC in Bangkok
- Several Asian countries are reporting record-breaking temperatures this month, causing power cuts and shortages for millions
Thai authorities on Saturday warned residents across large swathes of the country, including the capital Bangkok, to avoid going outdoors due to extreme heat.
Parts of Asia are reporting extreme heat this month, with record-breaking temperatures seen in some countries. In Bangladesh and parts of India, extreme heat is leading to surge in power demand, causing power cuts and shortages for millions of people.
In the Bagna district of Bangkok, the temperature reached 42º C (100º F), while the heat index – which includes relative humidity and measures what the temperature feels like – hit a record 54ºC (129ºF), according to the meteorological department.
“Sometimes, I take refuge in the 7-Eleven convenience store … to escape the heat,” Amporn Supasert, 67, a grilled chicken vendor in Bangkok, said.
Thailand’s department of disaster prevention and mitigation said that temperatures will exceed 40ºC in at least 28 provinces on Saturday.
Recent extreme heat has smashed electricity consumption records, with the country consuming more than 39,000 megawatts on April 6, surpassing the previous record of 32,000 megawatts in April last year, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said.
“What is happening right now is caused by climate change, influencing abnormal [weather] and a phenomenon that is called extreme weather,” Mathinee Yucharoen, a researcher of coastal oceanography and climate change at Prince of Songkhla University, said.