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Heatwave to hit before rainy season: Ministry

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A dried pond during a heatwave in the Battambang province last year. Khmer Times

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology is expecting temperatures to hit highs in some parts of the country until early May as a health official warns against entailing ailments.

“The weather is extremely hot now, despite our forecast of occasional rain,” Ministry spokesman Chan Youttha said. “Preah Vihear province hit temperature highs of 41 degrees Celsius [yesterday].”

“Temperatures can be extremely hot ahead of the rainy season [in May],” he added. “The weather will still be hot during the upcoming Khmer New Year [mid-April].”

Mr Youttha added the northwestern lowlands and northern plains could experience highs of 42 degrees, noting parts of the country will continue to face drought.

“Temperatures this year have been hotter than last year, but there will be more of the occasional rains when compared to last year,” he said. “However, occasional rain during hot weather means there could be thunderstorms. We have to be very careful.”

Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said yesterday high temperatures can affect people’s health if they are not careful.

“We will sweat a lot, which leads to dehydration,” Ms Vandine said. “When we are under the sun for too long, our skin can burn and people might have difficulty breathing.”

“When the weather is hot, diarrhoea and food poisoning will occur more frequently,” she added. “People must practice caution and proper sanitation.”

Ms Vandine said people should avoid prolonged sunlight exposure, wear long sleeves and pants, drink at least 1.5 litres of water, consume enough food and maintain good hygiene.

The Water Resources Ministry said thunderstorms may hit northwestern provinces such as Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Battambang and Pailin.

Mr Youttha said people should take shelter when they see dense clouds forming.

“These clouds change shape to look like mushrooms, then turn black when it is about to rain,” he said.

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