High heat index to continue in coastal areas

Posted by watchmen
May 6, 2024


Coastal areas will continue to have high heat indices as the country continues to deal with the effects of El Niño this month, the head of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Pagasa said the heat index peaked at 48 degrees in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, and Aparri, Cagayan. These two areas are also forecast to experience 47 degrees heat index.

“It’s because these two are located along coastal areas, so we are expecting not just high temperatures but high heat indices,” Pagasa chief Nathaniel Servando told the Philippine News Agency.

He said all other places that are flat, near coastal areas, and surrounded by mountains or valleys, will consistently have high heat indices likely until the second half of May.

Servando cited as examples Cagayan Valley, as well as Iba, Zambales where the heat index peaked at 53 degrees last Sunday.

Among the areas forecast to have high heat indices daily are Laoag; Dagupan; Batanes; Tuguegarao; Iba, Zambales; Coron; Occidental Mindoro; Puerto Princesa; Virac, Catanduanes;and Iloilo City.

“Most of the affected areas are in Luzon, and some parts of the Visayas. Mindanao is not that affected because of rain showers caused by cloudy skies,” Servando said.

He said there were only a few areas where danger level heat indices were logged on Thursday due to rain showers.

Heat indices or what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air, ranging from 41°C to 51°C are considered danger levels.

Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely under this level. Continued exposure could also cause heat stroke.

Pagasa recorded actual heat indices of 42 to 48 heat indices in 23 areas on Thursday.


Preventing heat-related illnesses

Meanwhile, Servando advised the public to stay hydrated, use an umbrella when going out and wear light clothing.

“Avoid going outdoors, especially between 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Avoid direct sun exposure,” he said.

Local government units of areas with consistent high heat indices are advised to look after the welfare of vulnerable sectors.

“They could do as simple as reminding senior citizens and those with lingering illnesses to refrain from going outdoors and to always drink water,” Servando said.

Vulnerable sectors should also be discouraged from taking long walks, especially in the afternoon.

Schools and LGUs, Servando said, could identify if face-to-face classes should be suspended and to shift to alternative modes of learning.

“These schools are most likely those that have few trees and are crowded,” he said. (PNA)

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