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CITY OF CAPE TOWN

15 JANUARY 2016

MEDIA RELEASE: CAPETONIANS URGED TO BRACE FOR ANOTHER HEATWAVE


MEDIA RELEASE HEATWAVE

HEATWAVE WARNING:

Unfavourable temperatures have been forecast for the coming days, prompting an advisory from the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre. Read more below:

The South African Weather Service has advised the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre that heatwave conditions are expected for the city this weekend.

Temperatures for the next few days will be extremely unfavourable – in the low- to mid-thirties – which can lead to run-away fires, among others. ‘Cool heads need to prevail during this time and we appeal to residents to stay hydrated, keep out of direct sun as far as possible, and be extremely cautious with flammable materials like cigarette butts and braai fires. There have been a number of runaway fires in the last week that have stretched the City’s resources, so we need the cooperation of the public. High temperatures also tend to drive people to the beach and swimming pools and, based on the number of drowning incidents over the festive season, I do need to remind the public to swim only in designated areas and not to drink alcohol on the beaches,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The heat can also have a potential physical impact and the City advises tourists in particular, who may not be acclimatised to the heat, to watch out for swollen ankles, skin inflammation, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea and fainting.

The general public is urged to only braai in safe and designated areas, to extinguish braai fires completely before leaving, and to refrain from lighting camp fires. Any emergency or distress call can be reported to the City’s 107 emergency number from a Telkom line.

Cellphone users need to dial 021 480 7700. The sooner you phone, the sooner help will arrive. Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm, dry winds, veld or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

The City advises that residents take the following precautions:

In such cases, sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire When the temperature and the humidity is high at the same time or when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, a person’s ability to cool their bodies through sweating is reduced.

This can be a real threat that leads to hyperthermia.

The City advises that residents take the following precautions: