Visitors pack malls to escape heat

Some respite: People seeking relief from the extreme heat inside a shopping mall in Hanoi. — AFP

Hanoi residents flocked to the capital’s air-conditioned shopping malls to escape power cuts at home, as the grid struggled to cope with the high demand caused by soaring heat.

Vietnam is one of many countries across South and South-East Asia experiencing record-high temperatures in recent weeks.

As the temperature rose to 36°C, Bui Manh Duc Tai and his napping girlfriend were among those at the Aeon shopping mall trying to escape the blistering heat on Saturday.

“Our home was without power since this morning. We came here for some cool air,” Tai said.

In another corner, student Nguyen Minh Thu sat on the floor trying to finish an assignment on her laptop.

“I had to come here for power so I could study. The power has been on and off at home,” the agriculture student said.

Scientists have warned that global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events around the world, including heatwaves.

Drought and a prolonged heatwave have put a lot of pressure on power supplies in the country’s north, according to supplier Vietnam Electricity.

Average power consumption in Hanoi in May increased by more than 22.5% compared with April, Vietnam Electricity said. — AFP

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