Fish die in Vietnam - Triops Galaxy

Vietnam: Hundreds of thousands of fish die due to drought and heat

A persistent heatwave has been plaguing Southeast Asia for weeks. Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Vietnam are recording record temperatures. South Vietnam in particular, with the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, is suffering from the longest heatwave in three decades. According to meteorologists, daily temperatures have almost consistently exceeded 35 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the year, with some regions even recording temperatures of around 40 degrees.

Up to two hundred tonnes of fish

Bangladesh is experiencing the longest heatwave in at least 75 years. ‘I’ve never experienced heat like this before,’ reports 38-year-old Aminur Rahman from the capital Dhaka. At least ten people there have died of heatstroke in just a few days. As a precautionary measure, schools were closed, similar to the Philippines.

In the province of Dong Nai in southern Vietnam, the effects of the heat have been particularly drastic in recent days. Hundreds of thousands of dead fish are floating on the surface of the Song May reservoir. According to the AFP news agency, it has hardly rained in recent weeks, which means that the water supply in the reservoir is running low.

Photos show local residents travelling through the 300-hectare reservoir in boats or wading through the water to fish out the dead fish. Despite their efforts, they are reaching their limits. According to estimates, up to two hundred tonnes of fish could have died.

In some places, the reservoir has already dried out completely. Originally, additional water was to be channelled in, but due to the heat it was used for other purposes.

According to experts, the dreaded climate phenomenon El Niño is mainly responsible for the temperatures in South East Asia. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) confirmed the occurrence of El Niño conditions last year and warned of extreme weather events. ‘El Niño will end in June, but temperatures could continue to rise in many countries in the first half of this year,’ warned Thai marine ecologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat weeks ago. He predicted a historic heatwave, especially in parts of Asia.

El Niño is a natural weather phenomenon that occurs every few years and is associated with the warming of seawater in the tropical Pacific and weak trade winds. The phenomenon can exacerbate the effects of the climate crisis as it has an additional warming effect. Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and Central America are particularly affected.

Sladjan Lazic

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