(Reuters) HANOI – As a result of record temperatures that have increased demand in certain regions of the Southeast Asian country, authorities in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, are shutting off street lights to maintain the functioning of the national power system.

Several cities have reduced public illumination after state utility EVN warned that increasing demand for air conditioning might further strain the nation’s system during the heat wave, which meteorologists say could last until June.

According to Tran Van Hung, 67, a resident of Hanoi, “the weather is so harsh and hot that people must wear protective clothing to cool down and avoid getting burned.”

According to weather forecasters, temperatures this week are predicted to be between 26 and 38 degrees Celsius.

Hanoi fixes the issue by starting its public lighting 30 minutes later than normal and turning it down 30 minutes earlier than usual, while decreasing illumination on several important highways and in public parks.

According to Luong Minh Quan, an electrician with EVN in Hanoi, “If people all conserve energy, there will be enough electricity for everyone to use, but if not, there will be a partial electrical overload that will put the power grid at risk.”

Last week, Vietnam requested that air conditioning be maintained at or above 26 degrees Celsius and that electrical gadgets be switched off when not in use.

Though authorities warn that physical exertion in excessive temperatures may result in dehydration and fatigue, some people choose to cool down at a waterpark.

Since there are no other quick options, the water might help people cope with the heat, according to 48-year-old Tran Minh Trung.

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