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Saigon's Energy Usage Reaches 10-Year High Due to Unprecedented Heat

After two years of relative consistency, unceasing sunlight in 2019 and subsequent household energy use have led to an 8.3% increase in energy prices since March 20.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Power Corporation (EVN HCMC), on April 24, the city used 90.04 million kWh, a 10-year high that was 2.5 times higher than February 6, the day that experienced the lowest consumption this year so far. Experts expect total use for the month of April to have hit 2.5 billion kWh, the highest in a decade. 

The heat wave that struck Vietnam earlier this month set records across the nation with temperatures soaring far earlier than usual. Along with the sweltering temperatures, the UV index has hit "very high" which poses health risks including skin damage, aging and cancer. Local hospitals report admitting hundreds of children a day who are suffering from digestive and respiratory issues related to overheating.  

People have had to make changes to their daily behavior in response. While still forced to work, many in the construction sector are beginning their days earlier, drinking more water and bringing meals from home to avoid having to leave the shaded rest areas on their job sites. Wearing even more protective layers than usual, motorbike drivers can be seen waiting under bridges meters away from red lights for some temporary relief.

If weather patterns adhere to historic norms, relief could come at the end of May when the rainy season arrives. 

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