Experts has recorded the highest temperature degree that scorched thus far this summer. Dumarao, Capiz suffered a high and scorching 65.1 °c in heat index, according to the Weather Philippines Foundation (WPF).
The foundation noted the town’s heat index at 2:30 PM, April 12. In a Facebook post, WPF already tagged it as ‘Extreme Danger,’ calling for people to refresh as much as possible through drinking and avoiding the sun in the peak of the day.
Dumarao has less than 50,000 people, per the recent population statistics.
About the heat index, this temperature measurement is the temperature people feel as opposed to the temperature measured by instruments. When relative humidity is high, which is often the case in the Philippines, the heat index is significantly much higher than the air temperature.
Heat is removed from the body when sweat evaporates from the skin. Still, high relative humidity reduces the evaporation rate of sweat resulting in a lower rate of heat removal from our body. In the Philippines, where relative humidity often exceeds 70 percent or higher, a room temperature of 32 °c can have a heat index of 41°c or higher.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration explained that a heat index between 41 and 54 degrees—which is expected for the Philippines, is common this summer. However, it is dangerous and likely to cause cramps, exhaustion, and even heat stroke after continuous activity. The Department of Health (DOH) has raised the red flag on heat stroke and has urged the public to take precautionary measures to prevent the condition. Especially susceptible to heat stroke are the senior citizens because their temperature-regulating mechanisms do not function very well anymore, and those who work outdoors and commuters in vehicles that do not have air-conditioning units.
The Health department issued the advisory in the wake of rising temperatures and the upcoming observance of the Holy Week.
“Prepare for the ‘Visita Iglesia’ by bringing bottled water to keep yourself hydrated, well-packed foods that do not easily spoil, and umbrella as you visit churches,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Erratum: The town’s heat index was recorded at 2:30 PM on April 12, not March 12.