INSIDE AN OVEN : Extreme Heat Hits Sri Lanka

INSIDE AN OVEN : Extreme Heat Hits Sri Lanka

by Zulfick Farzan 05-05-2024 | 3:35 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); Extreme heat has gripped much of south and south-east Asia over recent weeks.

In Sri Lanka, the Meteorological Department forecasts that the maximum temperature in the North, North Central, and Eastern Provinces, as well as the Monaragala District, will range from 36 to 37 degrees Celsius until the second week of May.

The Department of Meteorology on Saturday (4) issued a warning noting that the Heat Index or the the temperature felt on human body is expected to increase up to ‘Extreme Caution level’ at some places in Northern, North-central, North-western and Eastern provinces and in Monaragala district.

It also said that the Heat Index is expected to increase up to ‘Caution level’ at some places in Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces.

Charitha Pattiaratchi, a Professor at The University of Western Australia warned that very hot conditions are forecast for Sri Lanka in the next few days.  

High temperature and humidity combined with low winds heat index of 40+degress, said in a post of Facebook.



It's still spring but hundreds of millions of people across South and Southeast Asia have already faced scorching hot temperatures. The summer heat has arrived early, setting records and even claiming lives, and it's expected to get much worse through May and June as summer actually begins.

Several parts of India recorded maximum temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit last month. On April 21, people in the eastern city of Bhagdora sweltered as the mercury touched 114.8 degrees. 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued a "red alert" warning for the eastern and southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha, where temperatures have been soaring since mid-April. The IMD warned the heat wave was set to get worse before it gets better.

The heat wave conditions have been brutal in Southeast Asia, too. In the Philippines, authorities closed thousands of schools as vast areas of the country experienced drought and temperatures up to 111 degrees — unprecedented for the region in early April.

In Thailand, authorities have urged people to remain indoors when possible with 30 deaths already blamed on heat stroke this year. In the capital Bangkok, authorities said the heat index Thursday was an "extremely dangerous" 125.6 degrees. 

In Vietnam, where temperatures passed the 111 degree mark, the national weather agency warned of the risk of forest fires, dehydration and heat stroke.

To protect yourself during a heatwave, you should:

- Move to the coolest room in the home, especially at night.
- If it is not possible to keep your home cool, spend 2-3 hours of the day in a cool place (such as an airconditioned public building).
- Avoid going outside during the hottest time of the day.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity if you can. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 04:00 and 07:00.
- Stay in the shade.
- Do not leave children or animals in parked vehicles. 

Source: World Health Organization / The Guardian / CBS