Bangkok, Apr 22 (EFE).- Thai authorities on Saturday asked residents of several provinces, including the capital Bangkok, to avoid outdoor activities as a result of the intense heatwave sweeping much of the continent.
Thailand’s Meteorological Department forecast temperatures to remain above 40 degrees Celsius in the country on Saturday.
The weather agency explained that the heat wave is due to the impact of low pressure, coupled with the El Niño phenomenon – linked to the lack of rainfall and heat – and the dry season, which occurs throughout April and May.
The heat index, which is the temperature adjusted for factors such as wind chill and humidity, was an “extremely dangerous” 54 C in Bangkok on Friday, the agency said.
According to data from the Meteorological Department, Thailand reached a record high of 45.4 degrees a week ago in Tak province, as the country broke the 45 degrees barrier for the first time in its history.
The heat has sent electricity consumption soaring to new all-time highs.
The heat wave is hitting much of Asia, including Laos, the Philippines, Burma, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.
The UN and the Red Cross said in a joint report in October that heat waves will become more frequent, intense and deadly because of climate change, and could even “exceed human, psychological and social limits” in regions such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South Asia.
The report notes that limiting average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the goal of the UN Climate Change Conference, could reduce the number of people exposed to extreme heat waves by 420 million. EFE