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DOH warns against heat stroke ahead of dry season

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 11 March 2019 04:26 PM

FILE PHOTO: Some local tourists beating the summer heat at Morong Star Beach Resort in Bataan. (WEBSTER MOLDEZ / Photoville International)

MANILA, Philippines – The weather agency PAGASA has not yet declared the official start of dry season.

Even so, the Department of Health (DOH) reminds the public to keep safe from diseases or ailments associated with the increasing hot temperature, specifically, heat stroke.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in an interview that heat stroke or heat exhaustion is already possible at this time.

Heat stroke is considered as a medical emergency usually associated with hot and humid conditions and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

It is very much possible when the body lacks fluid or dehydrated.

Duque said school children and the elderly are the most prone to heat stroke as they are the ones who easily get dehydrated.

The Health Secretary advises the public to avoid staying outdoors especially between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as “it is bad for the body to be exposed during those times.”

Likewise, the DOH continues to remind the public to drink plenty of water rather than having tea, coffee, or soda that are considered ‘diuretic’ or drinks that only increase the excretion of water from the body in a form of urine.

Too much urination can dehydrate the body and can cause loss of body fluids as well as electrolytes. — Marje Pelayo

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It’s official! PAGASA declares onset of dry season

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 22 March 2019 12:44 PM

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The state weather agency PAGASA officially declared the official start of the dry season in the country on Friday (March 22).

PAGASA explained that the shift of wind direction from northeasterly to easterly in most parts of the country signifies the termination of the northeast monsoon.

However, occasional northeasterly wind still prevails over extreme Northern Luzon.

PAGASA warned that the persistent weak El Niño that is affecting large areas in the country “may result to prolonged dry spell and hotter air temperatures in the coming months.”

For this reason, the public is advised to take precautionary measures to minimize heat stress and keep hydrated to prevent heat stroke.

The agency also reminded the public “to optimize the daily use of water for personal and domestic use”. — Marje Pelayo

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La Mesa Dam needs a week of continuous rain to recover – PAGASA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 11 March 2019 07:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) may open the gates of Angat Dam to augment water supply in La Mesa Dam amid the ongoing water crisis in Metro Manila.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. assured that Angat Dam’s reserve is still enough to last until the month of May or before the onset of the rainy season.

As of 6:00 a.m. Monday (March 11), Angat Dam’s water level is still higher by 20 meters than its minimum operating level of 180 meters.

The official also noted that they have actually increased their daily spillage level from the regular 46 cubic meters to 48 cubic meters.

Sixty percent (60%) of which goes to Maynilad costumers and 40% goes to Manila Water clients.

However, David stressed that if Angat Dam is ordered to increase its allocation, it can only release a limited amount in consideration of the hot weather temperature.

“Sa tingin natin, kailangan din nating tingnan ang limitasyon din noong mga sistema sa pagkuha ng tubig sa Angat (Dam) kung kakayanin pa ang additional releases, (I believe we should look into the limitations in the system of releasing water from Angat [Dam] if it has enough water for additional releases,)” David said.

Meanwhile, the PAGASA HydroMet Division has noticed that La Mesa Dam is quickly drying up.

Experts also said it would need a week of continuous rain in order to refill the dam’s supply back to normal.

“Siguro mga one week na tuloy-tuloy na pag-ulan baka ma-meet nya iyon (normal) kasi maliit lang ang reservoir capacity ng La Mesa – 40m cubic meters lang, (Perhaps one week of continuous rains would be enough to meet the normal (level) since the reservoir capacity of La Mesa Dam is small – only 40m cubic meters,)” explained PAGASA Hydrologist Jason Bausa.

On the other hand, Magat Dam in Isabela on Monday only has 9 meters of water (169.68 meters) before it drops to critical level.

If Magat Dam’s supply continues to decline, power generation and water supply for irrigation in Isabela and nearby areas would be affected.

PAGASA’s Senior Weather Specialist Jorybell Masallo explained that the current El Niño phenomenon in the country may also affect the onset of rainy season plus it is rare that tropical cyclones enter the Philippines during dry season.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) said they now have P10-M fund for the conduct of cloud seeding operation to provide artificial rain in critical areas in Regions 2, 6, 7 and 12.

Engineer Corazon Ditarro of DA-BSWM said in most cases and with appropriate parameters, cloud seeding operations are successful.

But the NWRB said it is difficult to conduct cloud seeding during the onset of El Niño.

“Kung wala ding nagdedevelop na mga clouds hindi rin magiging epektibo yung cloud seeding, (Without clouds , cloud seeding wouldn’t be effective,)” said NWRB Director David.

What is needed at this time, David said, is for the public to really conserve water.

The NWRB encourages households to recycle water and always check all water pipes for leaks. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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Japanese find ways to beat the heatwave as temperatures hit record highs

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 24 July 2018 11:27 AM

A businessman wipes his face while walking on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato


Over 200 people in Yokohama’s Chinatown splashed water on streets and pavements in the hopes of providing some relief from the heat as temperatures nationwide rose to record highs on Monday (July 23) and the death toll mounted to over 65 dead in the last week.

Kyodo News Agency reported that at least 65 people died of heat stroke and over 20,000 people were hospitalized between July 16-22. According to the Fire and Defence Management Agency, at least 12 died the week before that.

Shouting “get cooler”, the crowd in Yokohama participated in an annual national event repeated across the nation that seeks to bring back an ancient tradition dating back hundreds of years called “uchimizu”, which is known to cool a street down – even if briefly – by a few degrees Celsius.

Today, which also happens to be the first day of midsummer in the Asian calendar and aptly called ‘Taisho’ or ‘blistering heat’ in Japanese, some companies also took to allowing their employees to work from home.

Since 2015, Tokyo-based Infoteria Corporation has been allowing its workers to telecommute on days in the summer when the heat reaches 35 degrees celsius (95 Fahrenheit) such as today.

Engineer Hidekazu Kishimoto says his long one hour and a half commute one-way to work is just too exhausting in this heat. His boss, Hitoshi Nagasawa agrees, saying the program has been good for employees’ morale.

At least 2,000 companies have also signed up this week to reduce commuting congestion and ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics by promoting working from home.

On Monday, temperatures rose to a record 41.1 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) in Kumagaya city northwest of Tokyo in a heatwave. The temperatures were also the highest in its recorded history dating back to 1896, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. — Reuters

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