Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Central Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Center, said a hot low pressure system from the west, combined with the hot and dry westerly wind (from Laos to Central Vietnam), have caused this heat wave.

This situation, which is expected to last until this weekend, will reach its peak today and tomorrow, May 3, he said.

At 1 pm yesterday, May 1, International Labor Day, the temperature measured in meteorological tents was 41.1o C in Ninh Binh Province’s Nho Quan District and Nghe An Province’s Quy Hop District.

In Son La Province’s Muong La District and Thanh Hoa Province’s Hoa Binh District, the temperatures in meteorological tents measured 40 o C and 40.5o C respectively. In Hanoi, the figure was 38.4oC.

“The temperature measured in meteorological tents is 3-4oC lower than that in the open air, so the actual temperature in many areas in northern Vietnam yesterday was 42-43oC,” Hai said.

During the last weekend and the two following holidays – Liberation Day (April 30) and May 1, while a great deal of people left the cities to take trips to beaches to escape the blazing heat, others flocked to zoos, gardens, cinemas, and even supermarkets to ease the pain of the hot weather.

Due to the heat wave during the past several days, farmers in many provinces could not work until the late afternoon, when the heat had receded a bit.

In Lao Cai Province, where the temperature rose to 40.2oC yesterday, local authorities have used water trucks to spray water on streets to cool down the air.

Meanwhile, the number of child patients suffering from seasonal diseases has sharply increased in hospitals.

Yesterday Dr Phung Van Toan, head of the Thanh Hoa Province Pediatrics Hospital, said that in the past week the hospital received 30-40 child patients every day, much higher than those in previous periods.

The Hospital is now treating 400 child patients who are suffering common illnesses such as summer respiratory or digestive sicknesses.

The hot, dry weather also increases the risk of forest fires, the Central Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Center warned.

Tuoi Trenews - May 2, 2012