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Thousands of fish die in Vietnam during a brutal heat wave



Thousands of fish die in Vietnam during a brutal heat wave

Authorities are investigating the incident and are trying to remove the dead fish quickly.

Dong Nai:

Hundreds of thousands of fish have died in a reservoir in South Vietnam’s Dong Nai province, with locals and media reports suggesting a brutal heatwave and lake management are to blame.

Like much of Southeast Asia — where schools have recently been forced to close early and electricity use has soared — southern and central Vietnam have been scorched by devastating heat.

“All the fish in the Song May reservoir died due to lack of water,” a local resident of Trang Bom district, who identified himself only as Nghia, told AFP.

“Our lives have been turned upside down for the past ten days because of the smell.”

Photos show residents wading and boating through the 300-acre Song May Reservoir, the water barely visible beneath a blanket of dead marine life.

According to media reports, the area has not seen rain for weeks and the water in the reservoir is too low for the creatures to survive.

The reservoir management had earlier released water to try to save crops downstream, Nghia said.

“Then they tried to renovate the reservoir by putting a pump in it to get the mud out so the fish would have more space and water,” he said.

However, the efforts did not help and soon after, many of the fish died, with up to two hundred tons killed according to local media reports.

The Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that the company responsible for managing the lake had started dredging in early 2024, initially planning to release additional water into the reservoir for the fish.

“But due to a persistent heat wave, the investor allowed the water to flow into the downstream area, causing the water level to drop. As a result, the fish died en masse,” the newspaper reported.

The reservoir is the water source for crops in Trang Bom and Vinh Cuu districts of Dong Nai province.

Authorities are investigating the incident and are trying to remove the dead fish quickly.

“We hope that the authorities will do their best to improve the situation,” Nghia said.

Southeast Asia bakes

According to weather forecasters, temperatures in Dong Nai province, 100 kilometers west of Ho Chi Minh City, reached about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in April, breaking the record for high temperatures set in 1998.

Rising temperatures are also affecting neighboring Cambodia, where maximum temperatures could reach 43 degrees on the mercury.

On Wednesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet ordered schools to close to protect teachers and students from the heat and for officials to be on standby in case of water shortages.

It follows the Education Minister who on Tuesday ordered institutions to shorten morning classes and postpone afternoon classes in a bid to avoid the worst of the afternoon heat.

Hang Chuon Naron said the measures were intended “to prevent risks and prevent diseases that would harm the health” of students and teachers.

Meanwhile, electricity consumption in Thailand rose to new records on Tuesday as temperatures in the northeastern province of Udon Thani reached 44 degrees Celsius.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)