Stay out of the sun and hydrate! Western Cape residents warned of very hot weather
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Cape Town – Citizens of the Western Cape have been advised to stay out of the sun, find shade and stay hydrated as the province is experiencing very hot conditions that will last until Saturday evening.
In an advisory, the South African Weather Service (Saws) said temperatures reaching 40°C and above were likely to occur in the Cape Winelands, Central Karoo, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn municipalities.
Persistently high temperatures are expected into Friday in places in the Cape Metro, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch municipalities and into Saturday in Knysna municipality.
The very hot conditions are as a result of a predominantly light northerly wind flow over the interior of the Western Cape.
The weather service said: “When the temperature is extremely high humans’ ability to cool their bodies through sweating is reduced. This can be a real threat that leads to hypothermia.”
It said people in the affected areas should avoid prolonged direct exposure to the sun and limit strenuous outdoor activities and to ensure any pets or animals in their care have access to water.
In a Facebook message Premier Alan Winde also urged citizens to ensure they stayed hydrated.
Environmental Affairs MEC Anton Bredell warned that these were prime weather conditions for fires.
“According to our Fire Services, a combination of high temperatures, high winds and low humidity makes for ideal fire conditions. The Saws uses these parameters, among others, to establish a fire danger index,” said Bredell.
He said that there was the possibility that dam levels could be affected by high levels of evaporation.
“We are fortunate in the sense that we had a wet winter and most of our large dams are still relatively full. However, people should continue to use water sparingly, as it remains a scarce and precious resource.”
Meanwhile, Emergency medical service ER24 has also urged people to be cautious.
Spokesperson Russel Meiring warned about heatstroke which can lead to death if untreated.
“The signs and symptoms include cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, fainting and seizures.”
Some of the tips suggested by ER24 are:
- Drinking a lot of water.
- Keep a close eye on babies, the elderly and children. Ensure they stay well hydrated.
- Ensure pets have a cool place to relax and cool, clean water to drink as well.
- Try to keep out of direct sunlight.
- Wear appropriate clothing and use sunscreen.
- Limit participation in outdoor activities. If you do, ensure you rest and keep well hydrated.
- If you are going to spend time in a pool, ensure your safety and that of the children around you. Children must be supervised in and around pools.
- Do not leave children and pets in a vehicle, even with a window open.