Displaced people in Mandalay, Sagaing and Magwe regions are suffering in extreme heat, according to volunteers.
Temperatures have reached 41°C in central Myanmar, according to the civilian National Unity Government’s disaster management ministry.
Heat surges are forecast across lower Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe regions.
A volunteer helping displaced people in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, told The Irrawaddy: “Temperatures have risen significantly. Displaced people are at serious health risk. They need shelter as many are hiding in forests in unbearable heat. There is little healthcare and medicines are hard to buy and expensive.”
Drinking water prices are rising, he said.
“Water sources are dry and it is hard to find safe supplies. Kani has abundant water but villages were destroyed by junta troops in arson attacks and villagers cannot return,” said the volunteer.
The numbers displaced by junta raids rise daily and volunteers are struggling to provide food, water and medicines.
Most people are using flimsy tents and the elderly and young are particularly vulnerable in the rising heat. Heatstroke deaths were reported last year.
A resident of Yinmabin in Sagaing Region said: “Volunteers are struggling to help displaced people and rehydration salts are increasingly expensive.”
The NUG’s health ministry said waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea, viral hepatitis and typhoid, will spread in dirty water.
A doctor, who joined the civil disobedience movement, suggested boiling water from wells, rivers and lakes before drinking.
“People should drink plenty of water and stay in the shade when possible. They should use rehydration salts. But displaced people may not have access to water. Heatstroke can cause headaches, fatigue, unconsciousness and can be fatal,” said the doctor.
Cases of heatstroke have been reported in Khin-U Township where thousands have been displaced by junta raids, according to Khin-U True News.
“Water is not easily available where people are hiding. An 80-year-old woman has died of dehydration,” according to a member of the media group.
Data for Myanmar reported in February that nearly 50,000 houses in Sagaing Region have been destroyed in junta arson attacks since the 2021 coup.