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Heatwave grips Thailand, raising concerns for public health

Thailand is sweltering under a record-breaking heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in several parts of the country. This scorching weather has raised concerns about public health, with authorities urging people to take precautions to avoid heatstroke and dehydration.

Heatwave grips Thailand, raising concerns for public health

The heatwave has been particularly harsh in the northern and northeastern regions, where temperatures have consistently exceeded 40 degrees Celsius for the past week. The Department of Meteorology has issued heat advisories, warning of dangerous heat conditions and urging people to stay hydrated, limit outdoor activities during peak sun hours, and wear protective clothing.

According to health officials, at least 61 people have died from heatstroke in Thailand so far this year, with the majority of fatalities occurring during the current heatwave. Hospitals have reported an increase in patients suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration.

“The heatwave is putting a strain on our healthcare system,” said Dr. Piyachat Leelaphichit, a public health official in Bangkok. “We are urging people to be vigilant and take steps to stay cool, especially elderly individuals and young children who are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.”

The heatwave has also disrupted daily life, with schools closing early and businesses adjusting their operating hours. The strain on the power grid has also increased, with some areas experiencing rolling blackouts.

Meteorologists predict that the heatwave may continue for several more days before some relief arrives with possible afternoon thunderstorms. In the meantime, Thai authorities are implementing measures to mitigate the effects of the heat, including setting up cooling stations in public areas and distributing water to vulnerable communities.

This extreme weather event serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by climate change in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s government is likely to face increased pressure to invest in heat mitigation strategies and adapt to a future with more frequent and intense heatwaves.

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