By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO CITY registered its highest heat index since 2010 at 48 degrees Celsius (°C), according to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) on May 2, 2019.
CDRRMO operations and warning officer Darwin Papa said they recorded the temperature at exactly 2:26 p.m. using their local weather monitoring station.
We recorded 48°C at 2: 26 but it already fluctuated to 47 at 2:50 p.m. It is fluctuating because of the several factors that is affecting the heat index, he said.
Papa said the 48°C was the highest temperature recorded by their office since 2010 when they first installed their local monitoring station.
Since gin-install ang aton weather station, amo ni ang pinakataas nga na-record. Dati ga-range lang ang maximum at 42 to 43 °C, he said.
Heat index as defined by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is a human discomfort index that gives the “apparent” temperature or what humans perceive or feel as the temperature affecting their bodies.
High air temperatures and high relative humidity will give high apparent temperatures or indices, PAGASA added.
Temperatures ranging from 41 to 54°C, according to PAGASA, are under the danger classification.
Under this classification, heat cramps and exhaustion are likely to be experienced and heat stroke
is probable with continued activity.
With the continued increase in temperature, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6 cautioned the public of the possible diseases that may arise.
Dr. Elvie Villalobos, head of the DOH-6s Infectious and Emerging Disease Cluster, appealed to the public to watch out for sunburn and heat stroke due to the extreme heat.
Common diseases nga ma-experience because of extreme heat is sunburn, heat stroke, and diarrhea, he said.
Moreover, skin diseases are also common especially if the water sources have dried up and people cannot maintain their hygiene because of the lack of water supply, Villalobos added.
As a precautionary measure, Villalobos encouraged the public to stay indoors especially from 9 to 4 p.m. and drink to 2-3 liters of water per day.
Ga-advise kami sa pumuluyo nga likawan para indi ma sunburn kon mahimo ara lang sa sulod balay or indoors especially during 9 to 4 pm, he said.
Villalobos added that those who are staying outdoors should always bring protecting covering such as hats and umbrellas.
The high-risk population due to the high heat index are children 5 years old and below, senior citizens, pregnant women, persons with diabetes and construction workers, according to Villalobos.
Ang construction workers high risk man sila sa heat stroke, gani dapat sila mag-inom damo nga tubig mga 3 to 4 liters and maintain a healthy diet, he said.
Meanwhile, Papa said that they are expecting the temperature increase further in the coming weeks because of the dry season and the effects of El Niño.