Vietnam burning up, literally, at 48 Celsius

Forest fires raged in Vietnam as temperatures skyrocketed to 48 Celsius degrees in several northern and central provinces July 6, the national weather bureau said.

Mountain town residents take shelter from the sun and heat in a cave during a lunch break in Thanh Hoa Province (Photo: Thanh Nien)

At several areas in Hanoi and the provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh, the mercury rose above 45-47 degrees, or even to 48 degrees during the hottest hours of the day from 1pm to 3pm.

The year’s second major heat wave has wrapped central and northern areas in a hot blanket of 39-40 degree temperatures.

The scorching weather is forecast to peak at 49 degrees July 7-8, the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center said.

The heat wave will last until July 11 and will begin easing that night, forecasters said.

In related news, as of 6pm, forest fires blazing in Nghe An Province’s Anh Son District had yet to be put under control.

The fires began on the previous night in Hoi Son and Phuc Son Communes. Firefighters have had difficulty reaching the fires, located deep in bamboo forests were tough terrain made movement difficult, and strong, arid winds spread the flames quickly.

Earlier, about 10 hectares of pine forest burned down in Quynh Luu District July 3-5.

In the first six month of the year alone, Nghe An Province has experienced 12 forest fires that have charred 83.5 hectares of land.

Two forest fires also burned nine hectares of forest in Binh Dinh Province and Danang City on July 6.

The fires have been blamed on a combination of drought and scorching temperatures.

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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