South Asia suffocates in ‘extreme heat’

Thermometers are bubbling in part of Asia. Bangladesh experienced its highest recorded temperature in nearly 60 years last week, and in India at least 13 people died of heat stroke, as did two residents of Thailand, according to local media. “It gets hotter every year,” said Mikalo Nicholls, sheltering himself under his parasol near Bangkok’s Lumpini Park on Wednesday. This scorching period in Bangkok is the hottest she has experienced in the five years she has lived in the Thai capital.

The country’s meteorological service said on Wednesday that temperatures hit a record high of 44.6 degrees Celsius in western Tak province on April 15, and warned the weather would continue into next week. “It is possible that the heat of this year will be exacerbated by human activity,” said Thanasit Iamananchai, the deputy director general of this service, joining the UN experts who warned in March about the risks of extreme episodes linked to global warming higher than they had estimated in 2014.

Public health challenges

The kingdom usually experiences a period of heat before the rainy season, but the sun has shown extreme intensity this year. “This year’s record heat in Thailand, China and South Asia is clearly a climate trend and will pose public health challenges for years to come,” said Fahad Saeed, a researcher at the Climate Institute. Analytics, based in Pakistan. In addition, “the extreme heat we have experienced in recent days is going to hit the poorest the hardest,” he adds. “It could even be a life-threatening risk for those who don’t have access to air conditioning or suitable shelters.”

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The situation is the same in Burma. In Yangon, 42-year-old taxi driver Ko Thet Aung said he has to stop working when the temperature is too high during the day. In Bangladesh, hundreds of people gathered this week in Dakha, the capital, to pray for beneficial rain, as the temperature reached 40.6 degrees Celsius, a record high since the 1960s. for the temperature to drop, and to be protected from the heat wave,” local police chief Abul Kalam Azad said.

In India, 13 people died of heatstroke during an outdoor ceremony in the west of the country on Sunday. Urmila Das, a 42-year-old mother from Guwahati (northwest), said she gave up sending her children to school. “We’re not used to this level of heat,” she said. “Normally, we have rain from mid-March in the region. But we have no rain. »

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