Sri Lanka is bracing itself for scorching temperatures as a heat index advisory has been issued for 13 districts across the country. The advisory comes in response to the soaring heat and humidity levels that are expected to persist in the coming days, posing potential health risks to the population.
The Meteorology Department of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with health authorities, has issued the advisory for the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, and Monaragala. These districts are particularly susceptible to high heat indices due to their geographical location and climatic conditions.
The heat index, also known as the “feels-like” temperature, takes into account both air temperature and relative humidity, giving a measure of how hot it actually feels to the human body. When the heat index rises, the body’s natural cooling mechanisms, such as sweating, become less effective, leading to an increased risk of heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
To safeguard public health during this period, authorities have urged residents in the affected districts to take precautionary measures. People are advised to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, preferably water, and to avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight, especially during the peak heat hours.
Vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions, are advised to remain indoors in well-ventilated areas and to use cooling mechanisms, such as fans or air conditioning, if available. Wearing lightweight and loose-fitting clothing that provides adequate skin coverage is also recommended.