Aircons and fans sell like hotcakes as temperature hits 47°C in city

2013-01-25 00:00

WHILE the city wilted under a blazing summer sun yesterday, with the discomfort index at a blistering 47°C confirmed by the South African Weather Service, temperatures today are predicted to peak at a comfortable maximum of 26°C.

The weather service confirmed that the mercury reached 40°C yesterday, with humidity making it feel closer to 50°C.

Sales of air conditioners and fans spiked. Game marketing director Richard Millson said the store had experienced a huge demand for air conditioners and fans.

Vicky Laubscher of Hirsch’s said portable air conditioners had sold like hotcakes and they were out of stock.

“We had 50 come in and they sold out in no time at all.”

Laubscher said they were also doing a roaring trade in fans.

Residents at the A.B.F. Old Age Home in the CBD had a tough time cooling off because they had no working fans or air conditioning due to a power cut.

Sister Monica Narine, a nurse at the home, said they gave their residents cold water and juice to ease their discomfort.

“The heat is unbearable, but we’re doing our best to make sure that they are as cool and comfortable as possible,” she said.

Schools reported that all outdoor activities had been cancelled. Sihle Mlotshwa, spokesperson for the KZN Education Department, said managers at schools were responsible for deciding whether outdoor activities should be stopped.

“We haven’t received any reports about anything bad happening due to the weather,” he said.

Eastwood Primary School principal Jean Vetter said all strenuous activities “are a no-no”.

“[Pupils] were told to stay in the shade during breaks,” she said, adding that they were encouraged to drink lots of water.

This was also the case at St Nicholas Diocesan School.

Principal Luke Perkins said: “We are keeping [pupils] in the shade. We cancelled sports for the day.”

At the SPCA, staff were monitoring animals who were also feeling the heat. Spokesperson Sharon Shrives said the animals were “totally flat”.

“We have made sure that they get as much shade as possible. We have sprinkled the little kittens with water,” she said, and every effort was made to make the animals as comfortable as possible.

A family physician at Duzi Med said his practice had not dealt with any incidents of heat stroke.

“An adult should have about eight glasses of water a day. But people forget to do that at times,” said the doctor.

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