Vietnam records highest-ever temperature of 44.1C
Vietnam broke weather records on Sunday after the temperature in the country’s northern Thanh Hoa province soared to 44.1C.
Authorities warned locals against stepping outside during day time, as the mercury surpassed the previous record of 43.4C set in 2019. Experts warned that the climate crisis is exacerbating adverse weather observed in the region.
Nguyen Thi Lan, a farmer, told AFP that due to the rapidly increasing temperature, they were forced to begin work earlier than usual. “We have had to finish before 10am to avoid the heat,” she was quoted as saying by the agency.
Climate change expert Nguyen Ngoc Huy told AFP that Vietnam’s new record was “worrying in the context of climate change and global warming”.
“I believe this record will be repeated many times,” he said. “It confirms that extreme climate models are being proven to be true.”
Other countries in southeast Asia have also been observing a sudden spike in temperatures. A town in east Myanmar reported a scorching temperature of 43.8C, the highest in a decade, while Thailand also recorded 44.6C in the western Mak province, according to the BBC.
The rapidly escalating temperature in Thailand, ranging from a lower 30C to upper 40C since late March, also drew concern from prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last month.
In neighbouring Laos, the city of Luang Prabang witnessed the temperature rise to 43.5C on Saturday, breaking the previous national record of 42.7C set last month, reported CNN, citing weather historian Maximiliano Herrera.
While south and southeast Asia observe temperature spikes in April and May before monsoon showers bring relief, unprecedented heat is becoming more uncomfortably common as the climate crisis intensifies.
A 2022 study published by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Washington found dangerous levels of heat plaguing the northern hemisphere are likely to hit most of the world between three and 10 times more often by the turn of the century.