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Laos wilts as temperatures soar
Publication Date : 27-04-2012
The mercury hit 39°C in Vientiane yesterday, recorded as the hottest day this year, according to the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.
The department forecasts that temperatures in the capital could soar to as high as 40°C next week, with hot weather affecting northern and central areas of Laos. The department told Vientiane Times yesterday that temperatures in some parts of Laos could reach their highest level in 10 years.
Deputy Head of the Weather Forecasting Aeronautical Division, Mr Bounterm Sisouphanthong, said the highest temperature recorded in Laos so far this year was 39.5°C in Luang Prabang province. But the province could see temperatures exceed 40°C next week.
The highest temperature recorded in Laos in the last 10 years was also reported in Luang Prabang province at 42°C, in 2003. In Vientiane, the highest temperature recorded in the last 10 years was 40.5°C.
Last year, the highest temperature recorded in Laos was 39.5°C in Xekong province, and in 2010 it was 41.3°C in L uang Prabang province.
Doctors recently warned people to be on the alert to prevent diarrhoea and other health problems that typically occur in times of hot weather.
The Hydrology Department warned that summer storms will continue to strike Laos at least until the end of this month. Recent storms have blown off the roofs of hundreds of houses, and damaged schools, crops and electricity cables, as well as other personal and public property, with whole trees being uprooted in some provinces.
In Vientiane's Xaythany district, the roofs of more than 150 houses were blown off in high winds
In March, a storm destroyed houses and other property worth 7 billion kip in Sing district and 200 million kip in Nalae district, in Luang Namtha province.
Summer storms bring swirling winds and heavy rainfall. They develop quickly and take people unawares, so everyone should be alert to the possibility of a sudden squall.
Overloading the electricity grid is leading to power shortages and brown-outs. Local residents have also been affected by water shortages this summer.
The heat has also led to fire outbreaks in Vientiane, and the authorities have warned local residents, government offices and businesses to be on their guard.
The Vientiane Fire Department is running a campaign to encourage people to replace old or faulty electrical equipment, to help prevent fires. Hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and entertainment venues have also been urged to have their own fire fighting equipment on site, and to train their staff to tackle a fire in the event of an emergency.