HCM CITY (VNS)— People in the southeastern and central regions are flocking to hospitals and parks as a heat wave disrupts normal lives.
Many people have been hospitalised with heat-related diseases over the last week and in Khanh Hoa Province's Nha Trang City, considered to have the most favourable weather in the central region, locals have rushed to parks along coast to escape the heat.
Local officials said that the number of people visiting the city's parks have doubled compared to normal days, with many taking mats and chairs along.
In the central province of Ninh Thuan, customers are coming to the Phan Rang and Thanh Son wholesale markets earlier than usual to avoid the hot weather. The markets are normally crowded at around 9am, but this is happening at 8am.
Temperatures in Phan Thiet, Nha Trang and Ninh Thuan's Phan Rang – Thap Cham City have hovered between 32-33 degrees Celsius over the past few days.
Nguyen Phuoc Huy, director of Dong Nai Province's Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said it was the hottest time of the year. The mercury has climbed to 36-38 degrees Celsius in the last few days, higher than the average temperature of the same period for many years by at least one degree.
"In April and the first half of May, there will be many hot days. And the hot temperature will last 10-16 hours a day," Huy said.
In HCM City, temperatures have reached 36-37 degrees Celsius this week, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Phan Enga, head of the Khanh Hoa General Hospital's Paediatrics Ward, told the Nguoi Lao Dong (the Labourer) newspaper that the number of children suffering respiratory diseases and diarrhoea has increased rapidly over the last few days.
The ward has 120 beds, but the number of inpatients has increased to 220, he said.
Thai Phuong Phien, deputy director of the Ninh Thuan General Hospital, said although it has not reached the warning level, the number of children and the elderly hospitalised with diarrhoea, fever and high blood pressure has increased rapidly over the past five days.
Demand for air conditioners and fans has also nearly doubled at shops in HCM City as temperatures have soared in recent weeks.
Bui Tan Cuong, marketing director of Thien Hoa Electronics Centre, said sales had gone up by 30-40 per cent compared to normal days, with customers buying more energy-efficient air conditioners and fans.
Electronics supermarkets and shops in HCM City said the prices of several products had gone up by 10-20 per cent because of increased demand.
According to the National Hydro-meteorology Forecasting Centre, hot, dry weather will continue until the end of May. — VNS