Saigonese battle blazing heat

By Quynh Tran, Thanh Tung   April 10, 2024 | 07:12 pm PT
With outdoor temperatures reaching 41 degrees Celsius, people have to fully cover themselves, seek shaded areas, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in HCMC.
Saigonese battle blazing heat

Workers at the construction site of the An Phu intersection construction in Thu Duc City endure the blazing sun at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Southeastern localities, including Ho Chi Minh City, have been experiencing a severe heat wave for nearly two months now. The oppressive weather these days normally lasts from noon to 4 p.m. every day.

In HCMC, the highest temperature these days are measured at 35-36 degrees Celsius, with humidity levels at 30-40%. However, the actual outdoor temperatures are two-four degrees higher.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

Nguyen Huu Long with his face covered completely at the construction site. Long also wore long sleeves to combat the sun.

"Being fully covered like this makes it inconvenient to observe things and work," Long said.

"The sun blazes down like fire, and just a few minutes of work can make you sweat profusely and quickly drain your energy."

Saigonese battle blazing heat

Another worker at the intersection construction site, Nguyen Van Tho, 50, continuously drank water and casually washed his face when having to work under the scorching sun.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

Construction workers have lunch and take a nap under the Ba Son Bridge, along Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1 to protect themselves from the scorching sun.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

At around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the temperature at Hang Xanh Intersection in Binh Thanh District was recorded at 41 degrees Celsius.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

A dog is wrapped in a towel to shield from the sun when being carried on a motorbike in Thu Duc City.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

Nguyen Thi Linh, 41, a scrap collector, gets cool water from a container in Thu Duc City.

It is not difficult to find free iced tea pots or containers placed along HCMC streets.

They are put there by locals who want to lend a helping hand to others during the heatwave.

"I stop here to get water several times every day. This allows me to save some money," Linh said.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

On Luong Dinh Cua Street, Le Hoang Tien regularly sprayed water in front of his house and on the street to cool the heat and to reduce dust.

"For two months now, I've been spraying water three times a day, but the heat is still unbearably intense," he said.

Saigonese battle blazing heat

In a tin-roofed rental room in an alley of Nguyen Xi Street in Binh Thanh District, Tran Van Minh endures the sweltering heat.

He said that the heat from the tin sheets, when combined with a fan, makes it even more suffocating.

"The mattress gets soaking wet with sweat if I lie down for a bit, so I have to sit up to feel less uncomfortable," he said.

Minh has been living alone in this rental community for nearly a decade, working as a scrap collector. His cramped room, with a monthly rent of VND1 million (US$40), becomes extremely hot during the sunny season, and leaks everywhere when it rains.

According to the weather forecast, the hot weather in the south will continue this month and possibly last through May.

go to top