Msunduzi on alert as residents brace themselves for scorching heat

2015-12-01 11:25
Get out your brollies, baggies, sunblock and ice packs. The SA Weather service has predicted a scorcher today with the temperature reaching 37° Celsius with a discomfort of 45,3° C.

Get out your brollies, baggies, sunblock and ice packs. The SA Weather service has predicted a scorcher today with the temperature reaching 37° Celsius with a discomfort of 45,3° C. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Brace yourself. It’s going to be a scorcher.

Today KwaZulu-Natal will reach sweltering temperatures with ­discomfort levels reaching above 45° Celsius in some parts of the province.

According to Weather SA, ­Pietermaritzburg’s maximum for today is 37° Celsius with a discomfort level of 45,3° Celsius.

Some of the city’s pre-schools said they will ensure that the children get plenty of water.

“In the morning we will let the children play outside for just a few minutes. At 9 am, we will take them inside and they will stay indoors until it’s time to go home,” said Gail Stead of the Hazelwood Pre-Primary School in Oribi.

Sunnylea Pre-Primary school ­principal Lynne Freestone said children would be kept in the shade with plenty of water available.

“The only way to deal with this heat is by staying in a cool place. We will keep to just classroom activities,” said ­Freestone.

Senior administrator at Twinkle Star Pre-Primary School Bertha Riangarira said, “The only way to deal with this heat especially when it comes to kids is by having fewer outside activities and keeping them indoors.”

Homes for the aged said they would also be keeping an eye on their residents as the heat can be especially dangerous for the elderly.

Aryan Benevolent Home Sister ­Beena Maharaj said all their indoor fans would be switched on and plenty of cold water would be handed out to the ­residents throughout the day.

“If our residents want to go outside, we make sure they stay in the shade and have lots of fluids during the day,” said Maharaj.

“We will also have ice-blocks and ­ice-cream at the ready for residents,” she said.

Victoria Memorial Home manager Cliff Freeman said yesterday that they would start closing windows, doors and curtains early in the morning in an effort to keep the home cool throughout the day.

“We have air-conditioning in one side of the home, and we will keep our fans on.

“There will be plenty of ice water to go around and the residents will most likely stay indoors if the discomfort level increases.”

He added that in the past, the home had hosed down the roof to keep the interior from getting too hot, but have had to stop because of the water restrictions.

Msunduzi Municipality said all their departments would be monitoring those workers who would be working outside the office. “The municipality has a heat stress policy and under extreme hot weather heavy workloads must be substituted with a moderate or light workload. This procedure is to be reversed once the humiture level drops,” said acting municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda.

The municipality also has three ­occupational health clinics that monitor and advise the business units of the safety of the workers and what precautionary measures should be taken.

— Witness Reporters.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

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