HANOI: Vietnam’s state electricity company warned on Wednesday that the national power system would come under strain this summer due to anticipated heatwaves, days after the country recorded its highest ever temperature.

Temperatures surpassed 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in central Vietnam over the weekend, according to national forecasters, breaking a previous high set in 2019.

State utility EVN said in a statement that demand for electricity in the next three months, as temperatures peak in northern Vietnam, could outstrip supply.

It also warned of low water levels that could have a severe impact on the country’s hydroelectric dams.

Water levels to hydropower dams in northern Vietnam are 30 to 40 percent down compared to average levels in previous years, it said, adding that the expected return of the El Nino phenomenon could keep water levels low and temperatures high for the rest of the year.

“If the drought situation is severe on a large scale -- if there is no flooding or the flood level is low -- the power supply situation may continue to face difficulties,“ it said.

EVN called on consumers to save energy, especially during peak hours at noon and in the evening.

It urged people to set air conditioners to 26 degrees Celsius or above and avoid using large-capacity electric appliances at the same time.

The communist country relies mostly on coal and hydropower for its energy, but has said it wants to increase renewable energy production in the coming years.

Scientists say global warming is exacerbating adverse weather, with a recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning that “every increment of global warming will intensify multiple and concurrent hazards”. -AFP