DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 April) – Davao City registered the highest heat index in Mindanao on Saturday at 43 degrees Celsius and 41 degrees on Sunday, data from the state weather bureau showed.
Saturday’s record shows that next to Davao City, Butuan followed at 42ºC, Zamboanga City at 41ºC, Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at 39ºC and Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur at 38ºC.
On Sunday, April 30, Butuan and Zamboanga City tied with Davao City for having the highest heat index at 41ºC, followed by General Santos and Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at 37ºC and the cities of Malaybalay and Surigao at 35ºC.
Last Friday, Butuan was second highest nationwide, at 47ºC, next to Guiuan in Eastern Samar’s 49ºC. In Mindanao, the area that registered the highest heat index after Butuan was Zamboanga City at 44ºC, Davao and Dipolog at 42ºC, Cotabato City at 41ºC and Malaybalay City at 39ºC.
PAGASA has 32 monitoring stations nationwide, six of these in Mindanao, in the cities of Davao, Dipolog, Zamboanga, Malaybalay and in Hinatuan in Surigao del sur and Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.
The state weather bureau defines heat index as “a measure of the contribution that high humidity makes with abnormally high temperatures in reducing the body’s ability to cool itself.”
According to PAGASA, “fatigue” is possible with prolonged exposure and activity in areas with 27ºC to 32ºC degrees heat index. Continuing activity could lead to heat cramps.
It said “extreme caution” must be undertaken in areas with heat index of 33ºCto 41 ºC as heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible.
PAGASA classifies areas with heat index of 42ºC to 51ºC under “danger” as heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely and heat stroke is probable with continued exposure.
It warns of “extreme danger” in areas with heat index of 52ºC and beyond as “heat stroke is imminent.”
The cities of Davao and Butuan fell under the “extreme caution” and “danger” classifications on Saturday and Sunday.
The Department of Health (DOH) in its advisories reminds the public that heat stroke is “the most severe form of heat illness when the body overheats and cannot cool down.”
The body “cannot take off the excessive heat by sweating because of dehydration and/or humid environment,” the DOH said.
Among the causes and risk factors are hot and humid weather, vigorous exercise in hot weather, dehydration, too much direct exposure to the sun; and infants, the elderly, athletes and individuals who work outside.
According to the DOH, the signs of heat exhaustion include warm, flushed skin, faintness, dizziness, weakness, headache, very high fever of 41ºC, rapid heartbeat, convulsion and unconsciousness
For emergency measures, the DOH said one must move the person to a shady spot or indoors, have him/her lie down with legs elevated; have him/her sip cool water if able to drink liquids; remove clothing, apply water to the skin, and fan the person; and apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles and groin
The DOH is reminding the public that heat stroke is a medical emergency and the patient must be brought to the hospital immediately “after instituting emergency measures.”
It also gave the public tips on coping during very hot and humid weather: to limit the amount of time spent outdoors, drink plenty of water; avoid tea, coffee, soda and alcohol; wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing when outdoors; and schedule heavy-duty activities for the beginning or end of the day, when it’s cooler. (MindaNews)