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May 20, 2010 / Dave Gorham

SE Asia (Myanmar): 230 People Die of Heat Stress in Mandalay

On Wednesday, Mandalay municipal authorities reported that at least 230 people have died so far of heat stress in Myanmar’s second largest city of Mandalay. Extremely hot temperatures over the past two months in Myanmar have broken the highest in history. Temperatures here have soared to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) which has taken a toll on residents. The local hospitals and private clinics have been filled treating patients of all ages who have been suffering from heat-related illnesses. According to a report, among those who have died of heat stress were liquor drinkers. This has prompted the Mandalay local authorities to ban the sell of liquor in the city.

Image: ImpactWeather

Not only are humans being affected by the extreme heat, but some drinking water ponds in suburban areas in Yangon have dried up and thousands of fish bred in southwestern Ayeyawaddy division have died daily of heat stress.

From late April through mid-May, temperatures in central Myanmar have reached record highs in over four decades, peaking at between 43 and 47 degrees Celsius (109.4-116.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in such regions as Minbu, Magway, Mandalay, Monywa, Nyaung Oo, Chauk and Mingyan as well as in Yangon and Bago over the past week, which are 5 to 8 degree Celsius above April average temperatures.

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