Record heatwave kills scores in Thailand

Ice is at a premium at Khlong Toei market during Bangkok's heatwave.

Ice is at a premium at Khlong Toei market during Bangkok's heatwave. Photo: Getty

A record heatwave in Thailand with temperatures soaring above 52°C has killed 61 people, the health ministry says.

The death toll is more than twice that recorded for heatstroke for the whole of 2023. Most of the deaths occurred in Thailand’s north-east, where agriculture is an important part of the economy

A heatwave over recent weeks has seen night temperatures remain around 30°C in Bangkok and many other parts of the country.

Midday temperatures have regularly been above 50°C with authorities urging people to limit their time outdoors.

Rain fell over much of Thailand at the start of the week for the first time in months. Temperatures fell initially but have since risen past 30°C again.

Weather forecasters have attributed the temperatures to El Nino but Asia is also warming faster than the global average, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines have also experienced unusually high temperatures.


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