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People use their hands to shield their faces from the sun during a hot day, in Manila, Philippines. Image Credit: Reuters

Manila: The Philippines will keep in-person classes at public schools suspended in some cities on Thursday and Friday as the sweltering heat continued to grip the Southeast Asian nation.

Schools in Manila will be closed due to the "extreme heat index forecast" and they are "directed to adapt any alternative mode of learning," Mayor Honey Lacuna said in a statement on Wednesday. Muntinlupa City in metropolitan Manila also ordered its public schools to remain shut over the next two days.

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The Philippines closed public schools across the country on on Monday and Tuesday due to the heat wave and a jeepney transport strike. Wednesday is a public holiday.

The school closures come as the nation experiences one of its hottest summers on record that's spurring cooling demand and straining its power supplies. Other countries in the region also saw electricity usage surging to record levels including in Thailand.

The heat index, which measures how an individual feels the temperature when humidity is taken into account, is forecast to hit a high of 47C (116.6F) in the Philippines on Thursday, according to the nation's weather agency. The heat index soared to 53C on Sunday, indicating that incidents of heat stroke were imminent.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has said rising demand for electricity as people cope with the scorching heat has left the country's power systems "overloaded." The energy regulator said on Tuesday that it will suspend the wholesale electricity spot market when the grid operator warns of thin power supply to tame prices as demand spikes.