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Temperatures set to hit 40 degrees Celsius in Kedah as heatwave grips Malaysia

Temperatures set to hit 40 degrees Celsius in Kedah as heatwave grips Malaysia

Dry paddy fields seen in Kedah, Malaysia amid a dry spell. (File photo: Sumisha Naidu)

KUALA LUMPUR: A Level 2 heatwave alert has been issued for parts of the Malaysian state of Kedah, as a heatwave grips the country.

On Sunday (Mar 17), the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) said a Level 2 heatwave alert, for temperatures between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius over at least three consecutive days, has been issued for Pendang district.

Twenty-one areas in nine other peninsula states were also placed on Level 1 heatwave alert. In an update on Monday, the number of areas on Level 1 alert went up to 23.

They include Klang in Kuala Lumpur, parts of Negeri Sembilan, central Melaka, Tangkak in Johor and Kuala Kangsar in Perak.

The Level 1 alerts were issued after maximum temperatures of between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius for at least three consecutive days.

The heatwave is expected to last until Tuesday.

​​​​​​​However, Port Dickson, which was on Level 1 on Sunday, was dropped from the list as temperatures dipped below 35 degrees Celsius on Monday. 

Meanwhile, Sabah and Sarawak recorded daily maximum temperatures of less than 35 degrees Celsius.

If the situation worsens and temperatures exceeds 40 degree Celsius for at least three consecutive days, a Level 3 alert will be raised. This would allow the federal government to declare a state of emergency.

Malaysia is currently at the tail end of the North-East Monsoon, which is expected to last until end of this month. During this period, there would be no rain or very little rainfall, MetMalaysia announced in late February.

Back then, MetMalaysia issued Level 1 heatwave alerts for 10 areas in peninsula Malaysia, mainly in the northern states of Perlis, Kedah and Perak.

Just last week, it was announced that around 15,000 residents in Kota Tinggi, Johor will be affected by water rationing, as the water level in a major Johor dam dipped below rationing level.


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