Heat wave claims lives of 5 people in Northern Cape

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Five people have died due to hot weather in the Northern Cape.
Five people have died due to hot weather in the Northern Cape.
Getty/ Roman Studio
  • Five people have died and two are recovering in hospital following a heat wave that hit the Northern Cape this week. 
  • The provincial health department cautioned people to be on the lookout for heatstroke symptoms. 
  • Northern Cape may witness cooler conditions over the weekend, but South African Weather Service forecaster Jan Vermeulen said hot conditions would persist until Monday.

Five people have died at the Kakamas Hospital in the Northern Cape due to heatstroke following a heat wave that hit the province this week. 

Two others were still recovering in hospital, the provincial health department told News24 on Friday.

Department spokesperson Lulu Mxekezo said heatstroke was a condition presenting as fever and often unconsciousness, caused by the failure of the body's temperature-regulating mechanism when exposed to excessively high temperatures.

According to Mxekezo, some people can develop heatstroke symptoms suddenly and rapidly without warning.

Kakamas has been hit by the scorching heat for the last few days, and it is predicted these conditions will last throughout the weekend. 

Mxekezo added people should be vigilant of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Dizziness

According to South African Weather Service forecaster Jan Vermeulen, while some cooling could be expected, the hot conditions in the province were likely to persist throughout the weekend and into Monday.

Vermeulen said Upington had been severely affected.  

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"We still expect today [Friday] to be very hot there - up to 39°C in Upington. This area has been severely affected because it's not too far from Kakamas. 

"There is also a 30% chance of thunderstorms there on Saturday, which could [cool] things down, but we can still expect hot conditions sitting at 38°C," he added. 

Sunday will also see hot conditions with a potential of thundershowers.

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