(PN file photo)

The Puerto Princesa City Health Office (PPCHO) has issued a caution against engaging in strenuous outdoor activities due to the rising heat index, which has surpassed 40 degrees Celsius in the city, one of the highest recorded in the country for this month.

The CHO recorded a consistent heat index for Puerto Princesa City ranging from 41 to 45 degrees Celsius.

Since March 27, the office has consistently issued daily notices about these extreme temperatures, with forecasts indicating a further increase in April as per the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Dr. Ralph Marco Flores, of the Health Promotions Unit at the CHO, pointed out that the heat index gauges both the ambient temperature and humidity levels of a specific area.

He warned that any activity should be limited when faced with such extremely hot ambient temperatures.

“Yung associated health risks talaga ng mataas na heat index ay heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, which usually happens as a result of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance among other things,” Flores said.

“Kaya po araw-araw kami nagpapa-alala lalo na ngayong El Nino season upang mas maging aware ang mga tao sa ano ang mga pwedeng gawin para maprevent at makapagbigay first aid for heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” Flores added.

PAGASA noted that dry season begun in March 22, with its effect being felt strongly in the months of May and April. The heat index in eight areas around the country, including Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan, went up to “dangerous” levels around the trail end of March.

The CHO cautioned those who had to work outside for prolonged periods to take a rest under proper shade and to stay hydrated, to stave off the effects of the extreme temperatures.

Flores also advised people to check the Gabay ng Pangkalusugan ng Puerto Princesa City Facebook page for localized health updates.