Philippine Daily Inquirer

HEAT INDEX PEAKS AT 46°C IN CAMARINES NORTE CAPITAL

- By Rey Anthony Ostria @RAOstriaIN­Q

CITY—Volleyball coach Blaise Ilan found it necessary to adjust the training schedules for his team as the heat index in Daet, the capital town of Camarines Norte province, has reached dangerous levels.

Data from the Philippine Atmospheri­c, Geophysica­l and Astronomic­al Services Administra­tion (Pagasa) showed that the heat index in Daet peaked at 46 degrees Celsius on Sunday and Monday. It was the highest temperatur­e recorded in the country in those days.

Heat index refers to the degree of discomfort being felt by an average person due to the combined effects of temperatur­e and air humidity, Pagasa said.

According to the state weather bureau, this is within the “danger” levels (42°C to 51°C) that would require residents to take cautionary measures to cushion its impact.

“The heat here is scorching. It is draining. The sun is blazing hot and there is almost no breeze,” Ilan told the Inquirer in an online chat on Monday.

While preparing for a regional competitio­n, he said that they had to adjust their schedule later in the afternoon to avoid the intense heat.

Mariano Palma, the provincial tourism officer, told the Inquirer in a separate interview by phone that they have no other choice but to adapt to the weather and use this to promote local tourism.

The Camarines Norte provincial tourism office has started urging its residents to “not be foreigners in your own province.”

“Things like these—these force majeure—we cannot do anything but accept them and embrace them,” Palma told the Inquirer.

He said the extreme heat has prompted them to invite tourists to go to the beaches and rivers to cool off.

‘Opportunit­y’

“Pangit mang sabihin (It may not be pleasant to say) but it is good for the tourism industry. I see it as an opportunit­y in every crisis,” Palma said.

“Beach umbrellas lined the shores of Bagasbas Beach. When the heat becomes unbearable, they can simply retreat into the waters,” he said, referring to a beach in Daet town.

Palma said that they have reminded resort owners to have first-aid training and kits ready.

“This [extreme heat] is also brought on by the climate [crisis] that is faced not just by Camarines Norte, but the whole world,” he said. “On this aspect, it is about time we address the problems brought by the climate [crisis] because they are real.”

Amid the rising temperatur­es, Camarines Norte will also be celebratin­g its founding anniversar­y on April 15.

Palma said that they have adjusted the schedule of the street presentati­ons to 4 p.m. from the initial 2 p.m. to minimize exposure to the sun.

Marifel Fernandez, 23, who works at the Provincial Informatio­n Office, said that when she was not working, she preferred to stay indoors.

“At work, we roam around Camarines Norte for fieldwork. I really feel the heat even in the morning,” Fernandez said in a separate online chat on Monday.

Crestito Morcilla, Camarines Norte division superinten­dent, said on Monday that school heads in the province have the authority to suspend in-person classes in cases of unfavorabl­e weather conditions.

He said that school heads may implement modular instructio­ns and establish measures to mitigate the effects of atmospheri­c heat, citing Department of Education Order No. 37, series of 2022, which offers guidelines for the cancellati­on of classes.

 ?? —DAET MUNICIPAL DRRMO FACEBOOK PHOTO ?? COOLING OFF Tourists and residents swarm Bagasbas Beach in Daet town, Camarines Norte, in this photo taken on March 31 as the heat index in the province continues to rise.
—DAET MUNICIPAL DRRMO FACEBOOK PHOTO COOLING OFF Tourists and residents swarm Bagasbas Beach in Daet town, Camarines Norte, in this photo taken on March 31 as the heat index in the province continues to rise.

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