61 deaths due to extreme heat since the start of the year

61 deaths due to extreme heat since the start of the year
61 deaths due to extreme heat since the start of the year

In Thailand, 61 people have died since the start of the year due to extreme heat that has gripped the country for weeks, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

For almost a week in April, authorities in Bangkok issued daily extreme heat warnings, with temperatures feeling above 52°C.

According to a press release from the ministry, 61 people have died of sunstroke across the country since the start of 2024, compared to 37 during the whole of 2023.

Thailand’s northeast, mostly agricultural land, saw the highest number of deaths, the ministry said.

Human-induced climate change will lead to more frequent, longer and more intense heatwaves, scientists regularly warn.

While the El Niño phenomenon is contributing to this year’s exceptionally warm weather, Asia is also warming faster than the global average, according to the UN World Meteorological Organization.

Apichart Vachiraphan, head of the Thai ministry’s disease control department, advised people with underlying health conditions to limit their outings.

This year, hot and dry weather has lasted longer than usual in the country, where the rainy season is slow to arrive.

Thunderstorms erupted in some areas this week, dropping temperatures but leading authorities to warn of flash flooding.

In April, the kingdom recorded a temperature of 44.2°C in Lampang province, close to last year’s national record of 44.6°C.



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