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Disaster body on ‘blue’ alert due to extreme heat

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Camarines Sur Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Thursday put its emergency operation center on “blue alert” to implement measures to safeguard the public against the effects of extreme heat in the country.

In a memorandum issued on Wednesday by Camarines Sur Governor and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) chair Vincenzo Renato Luigi Villafuerte, the council gave recommendations to address and mitigate the risks posed by high temperatures.

The province has experienced a heat index ranging from 37°C to as high as 44°C, with continued exposure being potentially detrimental to health.

Villafuerte urged all concerned agencies in the province to conduct risk assessments of schools and offices vulnerable to extreme heat and implement interventions based on the results.

He called for flexible learning modalities across all educational levels to limit students’ and teachers’ exposure to heat and ensure continuity of education, designation of evacuation centers as alternative classrooms to alleviate room congestion, and provision of a safe environment during extreme heat.

Schools were asked not to require uniforms. Comfortable clothing and personal protective equipment like hats, umbrellas, and light clothing materials are highly recommended, the advisory from the governor’s office read.

Villafuerte said for work arrangements, a relaxed dress code and implementation of work-from-home are considered to reduce exposure to extreme heat and ensure the safety of employees, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions.

He also required event organizers to have medical or safety plans and standby medical teams for outdoor activities, to ensure prompt response to heat-related emergencies.

“LGUs (local government units) with water lorries shall provide water to the community and assist in setting up hydration facilities in schools and institutions to ensure students and staff have access to water,” the memorandum read. (PNA)


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