“In response to the heat, residents sheltered in forests or near waterfall.”

Thursday, 3 May, 2012

It’s hot in Vietnam. No, make that unbearably hot. Here’s what happens when the temperature reaches 43C: “In Hanoi, a great number of people rushed to supermarkets, cinemas, indoor recreation centres, and green parks to avoid the hot weather. The hypermarket Big C Thang Long was packed with visitors from 9 am. The ‘escapees’ included children and their parents. Students also visited the cinema, and ate inside during the daytime.” That’s a snippet from a VietNamNet Bridge story titled “Temperature hits 43 degrees Celsius“.

Sun protection in Vietnam

According to the report, “This hot spell has also led to a surge in the number of hospitalized children in Thanh Hoa province due to respiratory or digestive diseases.” And, in a sentence that best captures the terrifying nature of this kind of temperature, the article ends thus: “In response to the heat, many Thanh Hoa residents sheltered in forests or near waterfall.”

Walking the streets of Hanoi yesterday was a truly extraordinary experience. Those unused to such extreme heat were forced within minutes to seek the shelter of air-conditioned establishments, preferably those selling Bia Hanoi, and stay put in the company of fellow escapees.

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