More than 250 Malaysian schools were closed on Monday due to a heatwave brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon which is severely affecting food production and causing chronic water shortages in many countries. Authorities ordered schools in the states of Perlis and Pahang to shut after temperatures soared above 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over a 72-hour period, according to local reports. The education ministry said the decision was made to protect the health of some 100,000 students, the official news agency Bernama reported.–AFP

The sweltering heat in Malaysia has reportedly slowed vegetable production, leading to price hikes.

Paddy fields and rubber plantations have been also been affected by the severe temperature rise.