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Asia Minute: Southeast Asia continues to bake under extreme heat

The Week That Was In Asia Photo Gallery
Vincent Thian
File - In this March 7, 2019, photo, the sun rises over the Penang bridge in Penang island, Northern Malaysia.

While it’s usual spring weather around the islands this week, that’s not the case in many places in the Asia Pacific. Southeast Asia is suffering record heat, while colder-than-normal temperatures are hitting parts of Australia.

Vietnam registered temperatures north of 44 degrees Celsius, which is about 112 degrees Fahrenheit, this weekend.

Neighboring country Laos was baking under readings of more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit, while anyone in Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok was sweltering at 41 degrees Celsius, or 109 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each of those temperatures is the highest ever recorded in those locations.

It’s been hotter than normal across much of Southeast Asia since March.

The South China Morning Post quotes Dr. Wang Jingyu of Singapore’s National Institute of Education as saying last month was “the hottest April in Asia.”

Authorities in Vietnam have been warning about potential power cuts. Government officials in Thailand and Malaysia are urging residents to conserve water.

And in the Philippines, schools in metro Manila have shortened classroom hours because of the heat.

Several thousand miles to the south and east, parts of Australia are seeing an early winter. This week, there’s been frost in Tasmania, snow in Victoria, and the capital city of Canberra has seen its coldest day in May in two decades.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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