KUCHING, March 21: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Women’s Wing national vice-president Voon Shiak Ni is urging the public to take additional precautions in view of an alert about the heat wave currently sweeping across the country.
She said in a statement that the heat wave was due to the Equinox phenomenon which usually hits Malaysia in the months of March and September every year.
Voon said more than 10 states in West Malaysia are presently experiencing the heat wave due to the Equinox with temperatures soaring for the last few days, including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, Perak and Johor.
“Certain parts of Kuala Lumpur are experiencing over 37 degrees Celcius to 40 degrees Celcius for the last few days and alerts of the heat waves hitting Malaysia have been circulated by the Malaysia Meteorological Department,” she said.
Voon also warned that the heat waves can pose serious public health problems, and urged the public to keep the temperatures down by observing all the ‘don’ts’, among which is open burning.
“Temperatures can be much warmer in city areas as the built-up environment with tall buildings and structures block and jeopardise the ventilation and the cooling effect of the breeze or wind. The health risks of heat waves can be more severe and brutal in city areas than open areas like coastal areas and the beaches,” she said.
Therefore, she added, people living in the city need to take extra care especially those with respiratory problems and asthma. She said the public needs to be aware of the health risks and dangers of the scorching heat during this time of the year and to stay indoors. Reducing outdoors activities is one way to stay safe from the scorching heat.
“In Miri, we have reports that there is open burning going on for the last few days and various parts of Miri are gravely affected by the raging wildfires especially in areas around Kuala Baram.
“We urge the public to make police reports on any open burning by the public and for police to act on these culprits immediately as the safety of the public at large is at stake .
“And lastly, we wish to sent a gentle reminder to power providers, that a widespread electricity outage senario during a heat wave phenomenon can be a disaster to everyone especially in the towns and cities which depend very much on air conditioning and air coolers to combat the heat wave effect,” Voon said. — DayakDaily