Philippine students are told to stay home as Southeast Asia swelters in prolonged heat wave

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A man and woman use a cloth over their heads to protect them from the sun in Manila, Philippines on April 29. (AP)

MANILA, Philippines, April 30, (AP): Southeast Asia was coping with a weekslong heat wave on Monday as record-high temperatures led to school closings in several countries and urgent health warnings throughout the region.
Millions of students in all public schools across the Philippines were ordered to stay home Monday after authorities canceled in-person classes for two days. The main advice for everyone, everywhere has been to avoid outdoor activities and drink plenty of water, but the young and the elderly were told to be especially careful.
Cambodia this year is facing the highest temperatures in 170 years, Chan Yutha, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, told The Associated Press on Monday. His agency has forecast that temperatures in most parts of the country could reach up to 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit) this week.
Myanmar’s meteorological department said Monday that seven townships in the central Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing and Bago regions experienced record-high temperatures. Several towns in Myanmar last week were on lists of the hottest spots worldwide.
Chauk township in Magway, historically the country’s hottest region, saw Myanmar’s highest temperature at 48.2 degrees Celsius (118.8 degrees Fahrenheit), breaking the previous record of 47.4 degrees Celsius (117.3 degrees Fahrenheit) set in 1968.
The Philippines is among the nations worst affected by the sweltering weather in Southeast Asia, where the intense tropical summer heat worsened by humidity forced class cancellations in recent weeks and sparked fears of water shortages, power outages and damage to agricultural crops.
The Department of Education ordered students in more than 47,000 public schools to switch to home-based and online learning due to health risks from record-high temperatures and a three-day strike starting Monday by drivers who oppose a government program they fear would remove dilapidated passenger jeepneys from streets.

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