Vietnam is now experiencing its longest heat wave in half a century as the mercury remained high for about three weeks.
Vietnam’s National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said the northern region of the country recorded average temperatures of between 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius higher than previous years.
This makes it the longest heat wave to hit the region since 1971.
According to a Vn Express report, temperatures in northern provinces like Lang Son, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ha Nam and Ninh Binh were recorded at between 36 to 39 degrees Celsius.
The centre’s weather forecasting department head Nguyen Van Huong said the heat wave was caused by low-pressure areas from the west and the Foehn wind, a type of dry, warm and down-sloping wind that occurs in the lee of a mountain range.
The central region also recorded 27 hot days, with temperatures ranging mostly from 36 to 39 degrees Celsius.
Do Luong District in central Nghe An Province reported its highest temperature at 41.2 degrees Celsius, followed by Huong Khe District in neighboring Ha Tinh Province at 41.1 degrees Celsius.
The unusual hot weather has also caused an acute shortage of irrigation water across northern provinces while sparking a number of forest fires.
The report said Vietnam has been experiencing the heat wave since early May with Hanoi’s Ha Dong district recording 40.9 degrees Celsius on May 21.
It is the highest May temperature since 1961 while parts of Lao Cai, Hoa Binh and Ha Giang districts also recorded their highest May temperatures in decades.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Vietnam is expected to lose 5.7 per cent of its GDP due to excessively hot weather by 2030.
This comes as it predicts US$85 billion in productivity loss, as the climate makes outdoor work near impossible during hot weather.
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