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Heating up

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration advised the public to stay indoors to avoid potential heatstroke and exhaustion as several parts of the country continued to experience high temperatures.

Dagupan in Pangasinan province posted the highest heat index at 51 degrees Celsius last week. PAGASA senior weather specialist Chris Perez said high temperatures will continue to prevail across the country throughout the dry season that runs from March to May.

Heat index refers to how the human body feels or perceives actual temperatures. High air temperatures and high relative humidity lead to high apparent temperatures or indices. Indices of between 41 C and 54 C can lead to heat cramps and exhaustion, while continuous activity can lead to heat stroke.

Perez said the recent heat index figures are “very alarming,” especially for those who are vulnerable to heat strokes and exhaustion.

Perez advised the public to avoid unnecessary outdoor activity as much as possible. Those who need to be outdoors should take time to rest under the shade, drink water and bring umbrellas, which are both helpful against the heat and rains brought by localized thunderstorms.

The high temperatures and heat index during the dry season are already expected, but as the temperatures rise further, more awareness and precautions become necessary, especially for those who are vulnerable. Listening to the advice from PAGASA can help us avoid getting into unnecessary trouble because of the heat and that is something we should keep in mind during these days as we try to ease the load on our overburdened health care system that is already struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.*

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