Mercury soars in Kerala; yellow alert in 9 districts

From March 14 to 18, temperatures in Palakkad and Kollam are forecasted to soar up to 38 degrees Celsius. Representational image.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Central Meteorological Department has issued a yellow alert in nine districts, considering the persisting heat conditions in the state. From March 14 to 18, temperatures in Palakkad and Kollam are forecasted to soar up to 38 degrees Celsius.

Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Kozhikode are also expected to experience temperatures reaching 36 degrees Celsius, significantly above the normal range by 2 to 4 degrees.

The combination of high temperatures and moisture-laden air may lead to uncomfortable and potentially hazardous weather conditions. The State Disaster Management Authority has already advised the public to adopt safety measures to mitigate the risk of heat-related health issues such as sunstroke, dehydration, and sunburn.

Recommended precautions include:
1. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm.
2. Regular consumption of water, even if not feeling thirsty, to stay hydrated.
3. Avoid drinks that may cause dehydration, like alcohol, coffee, tea and carbonated soft drinks.
4. Wearing lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured cotton clothes.
5. Use protective gear such as hats, umbrellas, and footwear when going outdoors.
6. Including fruits, vegetables, and replenishing electrolytes in the diet.

Additional specific warnings have been issued due to the increased fire risk in urban and forested areas. Caution is urged near markets, buildings, and waste collection points where a fire audit and safety measures should be strengthened. People living in or visiting forest regions must be extra cautious and adhere strictly to guidelines provided by the forestry department.

Educational institutions have been directed to ensure drinking water and ventilation in classrooms, particularly during exams. Outdoor school activities, including assemblies, that may expose students to intense sunlight should be rescheduled. Schools, taking children on field trips, are directed to ensure that the kids are not exposed to direct heat between 11 am and 3 pm.

Local Panchayat and Anganwadi centres are urged to protect children from the heat, and vulnerable groups, including seniors, pregnant women, bedridden patients, and those with pre-existing conditions, must avoid exposure to the sun during peak hours (11 am – 3 pm).

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