MANILA — The heat index of Virac, Catanduanes on Tuesday reached 46 degrees Celsius, the third highest so far this year, according to state weather bureau PAGASA.
PAGASA defines heat index as human discomfort index that gives the "apparent" temperature, or what humans perceive or feel as the temperature affecting their body.
Virac is among 8 areas in the country that reported a heat index between 42 and 51 degrees Celsius, which PAGASA classifies as "danger."
Under the "danger" classification, a person is likely to experience heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is also probable with continued exposure.
The areas under the "danger" classification include:
- Virac, Catanduanes - 46
- Dagupan City - 45
- Clark Airport, Pampanga - 43
- San Jose, Occidental Mindoro - 43
- Sangley Point, Cavite - 43
- Itbayat, Batanes - 42
- NAIA, Pasay City - 42
- Zamboanga City - 42
The highest heat index so far this year was recorded last March 17 in Dagupan, Pangasinan, at 53 degrees Celsius.
CLSU Muñoz in Nueva Ecija reported the second highest heat index at 49 degrees Celsius, also last March 17.
Filipinos can again expect hot days which can cause heat exhaustion and heat stroke, the most severe form of heat illness when the body overheats and cannot cool down, according to the Department of Health.
Here are some tips from the DOH on how to prevent this heat-related illness:
- Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors. If possible, do not stay under the sun from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- If you have to stay outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid tea, coffee, soda and alcohol.
- Do not let your body experience sudden changes in temperature.
Should a family member or friend suffer from heat stroke, do the following:
Move the patient to a shady spot and have them lie down with their legs elevated. If they are conscious, have them sip cool water.
Loosen the patient's clothing and apply cool water to his or her skin.
Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles and groin.
Bring the patient to the nearest hospital for treatment.