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Heatwave prompts Hanoi to reduce street lights as power cuts loom

HANOI (AFP) – Faced with record-breaking heat, Vietnam’s capital Hanoi has turned off some street lights to save electricity as demand for air conditioning soars.

Parks in the city of eight million people are now plunged into total darkness after 11pm, while two-thirds of street lights are also switched off at the same hour.

Scientists warned that global warming is intensifying extreme weather events such as heatwaves.

In early May, Vietnam recorded its highest-ever temperature – 44.1 degrees Celsius – breaking a previous record set in 2019.

The country sweltered under a heatwave in April, and another in late May, and state electricity company EVN has warned that huge demand from air conditioners and fans has put the national power system under strain.

Adding to the problems, a severe drought in northern Vietnam means water levels at hydropower dams are 30 to 40 per cent lower than normal.

Hanoi Public Lighting Company HAPULICO reduced the city’s street lights in response to EVN’s calls for energy saving.

Public lighting is switched on half an hour later than usual, and turned off half an hour sooner.

HAPULICO said the cuts may last until the end of August.

A view of Hanoi as some street lights were turned off to save electricity. PHOTO: AFP
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