ILOILO City – The public is encouraged to stay indoors as much as possible and to stay away from the direct heat of the sun this summer aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon.
Darwin Papa, operations and warning officer of the Iloilo City Emergency Responder (ICER) under the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said the metropolis experienced its highest heat index at 46 degrees Celsius around 1 p.m. on May 1.
The heat was measured by the Davis Weather Station.
Papa advised the public to avoid direct sunlight and stay indoors as much as possible.
Exposure to high temperatures could make one prone to heat stroke, heat cramps or heat-related exhaustion.
So far, Papa said, they have not received calls for assistance due to heat stroke; only for heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
“Hopefully the temperature drops but based on forecast, there is still a possibility that it will increase,” he said.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) defines heat index as “human discomfort index that gives the ‘apparent’ temperature or what humans perceive or feel as the temperature affecting the body.”
For temperatures ranging from 41 to 54 degrees Celsius, the public is advised that heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely, while heat stroke is probable with continued activity.
Meanwhile, Dr. Elvie Villalobos, cluster head of the Infectious and Emerging Diseases of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Region 6, said there are common diseases that will most likely be experienced due to heat such as sunburn, skin disease, food poisoning and diarrhea.
Villalobos recommended staying indoors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and, if it could not be avoided, use hat, umbrella, and drink plenty of water. Adults are advised to drink two to three liters a day.
Villalobos also warned that food spoils faster and can expire in four hours when exposed to too much heat.
Age groups that are at risk due to high heat index are children below five years, senior citizens, pregnant women and those suffering from diabetes.
Also at high risk of heat stroke are construction workers who are also advised to drink plenty of water. (PNA)