PAGASA warns public against heat stroke

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 07 2014 03:10 AM | Updated as of May 07 2014 11:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The state weather bureau has warned the public against heat stroke as high temperatures are expected to prevail in many parts of the country this week.

The heat index in Metro Manila will reach as high as 39.4 degrees Celsius tomorrow, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“If the air temperature in Metro Manila is 35 degrees Celsius, heat index will be around 37 to 38 degrees Celsius,” PAGASA weather forecasting chief Rene Paciente said yesterday.

He advised the public not to stay under the sun too long to avoid heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

“Heat index is human discomfort index that gives the apparent temperature or what humans perceive or feel as the temperature affecting the body,” Paciente said.

In Tuguegarao City, the heat index is expected to hit 40.2 degrees Celsius today.

Heat index of 32 degrees Celsius to 41 degrees Celsius can cause heat cramps and heat exhaustion, the weather bureau said.

“Continuing activity (under the sun) could result in heat stroke,” it said.

PAGASA urged the public to stay indoors as much as possible, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and drink plenty of water.

It said the warmest temperatures in the country were recorded in the month of May.

Meanwhile, the Department Health (DOH) yesterday warned the public of dengue outbreaks despite the forthcoming El Niño phenomenon.

DOH program manager for Dengue Control and Prevention Program Lyndon Lee Suy said the people should not be complacent about dengue despite the dry spell to be brought by El Niño.

“We can still experience dengue because of the tendency of people to store water in containers. If these containers will not be covered, dengue-carrying mosquitoes could breed in them,” he said.

The Department of Science and Technology had earlier warned of an impending El Niño in the last quarter of the year which may last until the first quarter of 2015.

From Jan. 1 to April 26 this year, the DOH recorded 18,611 dengue cases nationwide with 80 deaths. This is 51 percent lower compared to the 38,087 cases reported during the same period in 2013.

Most of the dengue cases were reported in Central Luzon at 2,198; Calabarzon, 2,119; Metro Manila, 1,854; Eastern Visayas, 1,655, and Soccsksargen, 1,649.

In Metro Manila, the city of Manila posted the highest number of dengue cases at 356; Quezon City, 335; Las Piñas, 166; Pasig City, 144, and Caloocan City,140. – With Sheila Crisostomo