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Heat Stroke Prevention & Extreme Weather: Rising Heat Index Alerts

Stay Safe in Hot Temperatures

Heat Index

Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather specialist Obet Badrina issued a warning of intensified heat index levels across the country this April. Here are some details according to the report of The Philippine Star.

Heat Index Forecast

Heat Index

According to PAGASA’s heat index forecast, temperatures in two areas of the country could reach up to 43°C this Monday. These areas include Aparri in Cagayan and Catarman in Northern Samar. Additionally, two other locations may experience heat indexes of up to 42°C, including Pili in Camarines Sur and Zamboanga City.

When the heat index reaches the ‘danger level,’ prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to heat cramps and heat exhaustion for individuals.

Metro Manila Alert

In Metro Manila, temperatures may soar to as high as 40°C, prompting extreme caution among residents.

PAGASA also warned of exhaustion or excessive fatigue, profuse sweating, dizziness, weakness with a rapid pulse, dizziness, and vomiting.

Safety Precautions Advised

Heat Index

As temperatures rise, it’s crucial to protect yourself and others from the risks of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Here are some essential tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

1. Avoid Extreme Heat
  • Stay indoors during periods of high temperatures whenever possible.
  • If you must go outside, dress appropriately and take frequent breaks in shaded or cool areas.
  • Identify individuals at higher risk for heat-related illnesses and take extra precautions.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, especially when temperatures soar.
  • Check on friends, neighbors, and family members who may be at higher risk and encourage them to stay hydrated.
3. Seek Cool Environments
  • Find air-conditioned spaces like shopping malls or libraries to cool off when needed.
  • Never leave children or pets unattended in parked vehicles, even for a short time.
4. Dress for the Heat
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to help your body stay cool.
  • Don a hat and apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Know the Signs

Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion to act swiftly if needed.

Heat Stroke:
  • Very high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, dry skin with no sweating
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache, dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, fainting
Heat Exhaustion:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Pale skin, muscle cramps, weakness, tiredness
  • Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting
  • Fainting

Responding to Heat-Related Illnesses

If you or someone else shows signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, take immediate action.

For Heat Stroke:
  • Move the person to a shaded or cool area and refrain from giving fluids.
  • Use methods to cool the body such as a cool bath, shower, or sponge bath, fanning, or misting with water until help arrives.
For Heat Exhaustion:
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or persist for over an hour.
  • Encourage the individual to rest in a cool place and drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages.

Remember: Quick action is crucial when dealing with heat-related illnesses. Stay informed, stay hydrated, and stay cool to beat the heat safely.

For more information, visit: CDC Extreme Heat Guide

Visayas Records High Heat Index

Meanwhile, in the Visayas region, PAGASA recorded a heat index of 37 degrees Celsius in Cebu. This reading falls under the ‘extreme caution’ category, indicating the potential for heat cramps, exhaustion, and even heat stroke with prolonged exposure to the sun.

Forecasts for May

Heat Index

Looking ahead, PAGASA anticipates that May, traditionally the hottest month of the year, will bring even higher heat index levels, possibly reaching up to 47 degrees Celsius, categorized as ‘dangerous.’

The combination of the El Niño phenomenon and the onset of the hot dry season contributes to the elevated heat index levels.

Classification of Heat Index

  • 27 to 32 degrees Celsius: Caution (fatigue possible with prolonged sun exposure)
  • 33 to 41 degrees Celsius: Extreme caution (heat cramps and exhaustion likely)
  • 42 to 51 degrees Celsius: Danger (heat stroke probable with continued exposure)
  • 52 degrees Celsius and beyond: Extreme danger (imminent heat stroke)

PAGASA emphasizes the importance of staying informed and taking necessary precautions to mitigate the risks associated with extreme heat.

 

Read Also: Mangrove Resort Subic: Indulge in Water Activities this Summer | Olongapo, Zambales

Report

Written by Marjo Piedad

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