Authorities warned people to stay indoors and drink more water and beware of food poisoning and other food related illness
BANGKOK (Thailand) – Southeast Asia has been roasting in an extended heat wave through much of April with temperatures reaching unprecedented levels. In Thailand, the heat wave is considered the worst since reliable records have been kept in that country. Several countries surrounding Thailand have also dealt with the searing temperatures.
Cambodia and Laos set new all-time record highs for any day of the year during April or May. In addition, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam have all come very close to setting new national heat records.
Christopher Burt, a weather historian with wunderground.com told on April 28, Mae Hong Son recorded the hottest temperature on record in Thailand topping out at 112.3 degrees Fahrenheit (44.6 degrees Celcius). The previous record was held by Uttaradit which reached 112.1 degrees Fahrenheit (44.5 degrees Celcius) on April 27, 1960.
The heat wave has also fueled a new record for energy consumption and prompted health warnings on everything from foodborne illness to drowning, both of which rise every April when Thailand’s hottest month coincides with school summer break.
“We are asking for public cooperation in conserving energy for one-hour a day from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. until May 20,” the national power utility said in a statement.
Thailand’s Department of Disease Control has warned people to beware of food poisoning and other food-related illnesses that typically increase during hot weather when bacteria can thrive on unrefrigerated food.
The authorities in Thailand have recommended the public should stay indoors and drink more water, in order to cope with the hot weather as the longest heat wave in 65 years currently grips the country.
Authorities also reminded people of the risk of drowning as children flock to beaches, ponds and lakes to swim during the unusually hot weather. Since the beginning of April, up to 135 children in Thailand have reportedly drowned.
Animals at Bangkok’s zoo are being fed special frozen fruit pops. People are flocking to shopping malls just to soak up the air-conditioning. Authorities are telling people to stay out of the blazing sun to avoid heat stroke.
Jarossanon Thovicha, a 30 year-old resident said, ‘This April is so hot. I’ve got the air conditioner and fan turned on at home. And I’m keeping ice cream in my fridge at all times.’ “My husband and I have been going out to the mall and spending time there over the weekends to save on electricity at home,” she added.
The Dusit Zoo in Bangkok says it’s taking extra precautions so its animals stay safe.
Monkeys and apes at the zoo are getting fruit popsicles, deer, giraffe and elephants get increased shade and sprinklers to provide rain and decrease the heat on the ground and Oranges, watermelon, pineapple and other fruit get chopped up, mixed with fruit juice or water and is then frozen for the chimpanzees, orangutans and other primates.
Temporary relief is forecast later this week with scattered tropical storms. However, it will be brief, with the heat expected to return next week before tapering off in mid-May when the monsoon rains are expected.