Not only is the heatwave expected to last until June, the ongoing dry spell and scorching heat have started “taking out” people.
Over the past week, the heatwave claimed its first victim, a police trainee, who succumbed to heatstroke in Johor last Friday (18th March). More recently, the equinox “knocked out” 2 girls, one in Form Three and another, a 19-year-old undergraduate, in Kulim. The 15-year-old girl fainted after school and was rushed to a clinic on Sunday (20th March), the day of the equinox phenomenon.
AsiaOne quoted state Health director Datuk Dr Norhizan Ismail as saying, “She went to the playground near her home and fainted while playing with friends. The undergraduate collapsed at home.” adding that both cases were diagnosed as heat exhaustion.
“The older girl’s kampung house has zinc roof sheets and that could have caused the heat to build up inside her house. By late afternoon, it was too much for her and family members rushed her the Kulim hospital,” Dr Norhizan explained.
He advised Kedahans to stay out of the sun and drink lots of water.
Meanwhile, some parents here have already stopped sending their children to school, ahead of the government order to close schools in Kedah and Perlis. State Education Committee chairman Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain said many schools reported a slight decline in attendance.
“The Education Ministry made the right move in closing all schools and urging parents to keep their children indoors. It’s sports season for most local schools but they have been told to postpone all their sporting events. The schools have also been advised to stop all their other outdoor activities,” he said.
Malaysian Meteorological Department’s weather stations in Alor Setar recorded a temperature of 36ºC at 4pm yesterday while Chuping in Perlis was still sweltering at 37ºC. By 6pm, however, Alor Setar’s temperature reading had dropped to 33ºC and Chuping 36ºC.
Stay indoors as much as possible, peeps. Keep yourself in check with our precautionary guideline on what warning signs to look out for as well as advice on how to cope during this dry spell.