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Record heatwave claims 61 lives so far in Thailand

In World
May 10, 2024

A record heatwave with apparent temperatures soaring above 52 degrees Celsius has so far claimed 61 lives in Thailand, the Health Ministry reported in Bangkok on Friday.

The figure is more than twice that recorded for heatstroke for the whole of 2023. Most of the deaths occurred in the north-east, where agriculture is an important part of the economy

A heatwave over recent weeks has seen nighttime temperatures remain around 30 degrees in Bangkok and many other parts of the country.

Midday apparent temperatures – a measure that includes humidity and windspeed along with air temperature – have regularly been above 50 degrees.

The authorities have urged people to limit their time outdoors.

Rain fell over much of the country at the beginning of the week for the first time in months. Temperatures fell initially but have since risen well past 30 degrees again.

Weather forecasters have attributed the temperatures to the El Niño phenomenon, but Asia is also warming faster than the global average, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines have also experienced unusually high temperatures.

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