BANGKOK – Thailand is reeling under a severe heatwave with temperatures soaring to record highs in some areas and the authorities warned of harsher weather in the coming days.

More than three dozen districts across Thailand’s 77 provinces have seen record temperatures in April, generally the hottest month of the year, with new highs beating records held as far back as 1958, according to data from the Thai Meteorological Department.

Temperatures have topped 40 deg C in 26 provinces in April, according to the agency.

The northern province of Lampang has seen the highest temperature so far in 2024 at 44.2 deg C, just shy of the highest temperature ever recorded in Thailand – 44.6 deg C – that was last seen in 2016 and 2023. 

Thailand’s power usage surged to another record of 36,699MW on April 29 amid soaring temperatures, according to data on the state energy regulator’s website. That was the third time demand hit a new peak in about one week.

The weather bureau advised people to avoid outdoor activities for a long period of time with maximum temperatures in most regions expected to top 40 deg C on April 30.

Deaths related to heat have risen to about 30 nationwide in 2023, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health said last week. 

Bangkok’s heat index – a measure of how hot it feels like when humidity is taken into account – was listed as above 52 deg C and “very dangerous” on April 30, according to a Facebook post by the metropolitan administration. BLOOMBERG