Asia remains in the grip of a blistering heat wave, chiming with predictions from climate scientists that 2023 could be the world’s hottest year.

In an ominous sign ahead of the northern hemisphere summer, an emerging El Nino weather pattern is pushing the mercury to unprecedented levels in southern parts of the continent.

Vietnam reported its highest ever temperature of 44.2 degrees Celsius over the weekend, triggering power shortage warnings, while Laos also likely broke records. The Philippines cut classroom hours after the heat index reached the "danger” zone, reflecting the potentially deadly combination of heat and humidity.