May 30, 2024

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Southeast Asia has been hit by a severe heat wave

Southeast Asia has been hit by a severe heat wave

For the second year in a row, Southeast Asia is sweating profusely: April coincides with the hottest and driest season in most countries — without, at this point, much more than that. Historical records of 2023. Thailand's April 13 water Buddhist festival Songkran (called “Thingyan” in Burma) marks the arrival of monsoons and the new year, but nothing has changed: the Thailand Meteorological Department has warned that fifteen provinces in the country will be affected. “Danger Temperature Index” A minimum of 43°C in some parts of the country till April 28. In addition to the heat, air pollution indices rose in the scorching dry north.

In neighboring Burma, where a civil war is intensifying and a heat wave has forced the regime to move, former state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on April 17 from a dilapidated building built for her in a special section of Nay Pyi Taw prison. “Residual Residence” Because of the heat and his age (78 years). The former leader was arrested on the day of the regime change that overthrew his elected governmentThere is February 2021, serving twenty-seven years in prison. He refused to install air conditioning in his Nay Pyi Taw prison like other prisoners. Temperatures in the Burmese capital exceeded 40 degrees Celsius in mid-April.

The heat is a double punishment for civilians in Burma: The intensity of the fighting is forcing residents of entire cities to flee their homes and settle in makeshift camps: At least 2.6 million people are “internally displaced” in this country of 55 million people, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. A further 18.6 million people are considered to be in need of humanitarian assistance – otherwise distributed in drips and drops due to lack of access.

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Also Read | The article is reserved for our subscribers In Burma, insurgents have captured Myawaddy, a major city on the border with Thailand

However, in most of the areas affected by the fighting or “liberated” by the resistance, there is no electricity, and people have to resort to generators incessantly due to fuel shortages. The temperature in recent days has varied between 37°C to 39°C during the day. This is especially so in Myawaddy, a large Burmese city of 50,000 on the Thai border, which fell into the hands of the armed opposition in the week of April 8: it had been bombed by the Burmese for several days. Army. Several thousand residents have already sought refuge on the Thai side, where they have been housed in shelters along the river that separates the two countries and which help protect livestock from the sun.

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