Heatwave grips Cebu City residents as temperatures soar

Heatwave grips Cebu City residents as temperatures soar
SunStar File/Amper Campaña

OVER the past week, Cebu City has been experiencing a relentless rise in temperatures, with a current heat index of 34 degrees Celsius as of March 20, 2024, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

With the heatwave intensifying each passing day, residents across the city have been grappling with discomfort, sleepless nights, and heightened anxiety.

“Nagtrabaho ko ari pila na ka tuig as tindera pero ang kainit karon dili na makaya sa panit. Bisag sa alas 6:30 sa buntag, ang adlaw murag sakit na man sa panit,” said Flordeliza Vargas, a street vendor and resident of Cebu.

(I have been working here for several years as a vendor, but the heat is unbearable now. Even at 6:30 in the morning, the sun is already hurting the skin.)

“Tungod sa kainit pud karong panahona, naguol sad ko sa mga kalagasan ug sa mga bata sa atong komunidad na duol sa mga sakit sama sa heatstroke ug uban pa,” she added.

(Because of the heat this season, I am worried with the elderly and children in the community who are prone to illnesses such as heatstroke and others.)

Aside from health concerns, citizens also expressed worry over the strain on the city’s resources and infrastructure. With units and houses working overtime or electricity consumption surging, there is fear that it might cause a fire outbreak.

“Tungod sa heat index, cause pud siya sa mga panghitabo karon like sunog kay usa man na siya na factors ang kainit. Sa electricity pud ug ma gamitan ug taman, maka cause siya og overheat, potentially mo result siya into fire,” said Crissza Lyn Caritan, a student from Cebu Normal University (CNU).

(The heat also causes fire. Appliances at home may also overheat and can lead to fire.)

“Ang kainit usa sad na ka factor sa sunog. Especially dali ra gyud maka cause og sunod ang mga light materials. Karong panahona, sa kainit sa panahon ug taas na pag consume sa kuryente, mag amping ta ug ato hinumdoman ang mga safety guides ug mga tips para malikyan ang sunod,” said a police officer who asked not to be named.

(The hot weather is also one of the factors that lead to fire, especially that light materials can easily catch fire. This hot season, with the surging electricity consumption, let us remember that safety guides and tips on preventing fire.)

But concerns about water scarcity have emerged alongside the rising temperatures.

With the increased demand for water for drinking and sanitation, there are worries about potential strain on the city's water supply.

Around 30 million liters of water production has already been lost during the dry spell in Buhisan Dam in Cebu City, according to the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).

“Tungod sa kainit sa panahon, grabe kaayo ang decline sa water. Sa una, naa na gyud to ang problem na mawala ang water pag mo udto pero morning ug hapon mo balik ra siya. Mo mata ra mi og kadlawon para maka-andam mi og tubig na panligo ug for necessities. Karon, naay mga areas nga naay leakages sa water. Dapat siguro i-conserve nato ang water kay dili nato mahibaw-an ang importance sa water if dili mo reflect sa atoa negatively,” said Josel Ann Cayasan, a student of CNU.

(The water supply has been declining due to the hot weather. Before, the water supply stops at noon, but comes back in the morning or afternoon. We wake up early in the morning to save water, but now there are areas where leakages have been reported. I think we should conserve water because we will never know its importance until it affects us negatively.)

Felipe Bantilan Jr., a habal-habal driver, said the extreme heat affects their work as it prevents some passengers to ride a motorcycle due to the heat.

“Sa karon, sa akong pamasahero, okay ra man. Sa usa ka adlaw makakaon man ika-tulo. Pero mao lagi perti pod kaayong inita, pero gi-agwanta lang. Usahay ang mga pasahero dili mo sakay. Perti kaayung initas panahon,” said Bantilan.

(As of now, my work has so far been okay. I can eat three times a day, but I have to endure the heat. Sometimes, the passengers prefer not to ride a motorcycle because of the intense heat.)

According to Pagasa, the recent heatwave has been attributed to a combination of factors, including the absence of rain, clear skies, and the effects of the El Niño phenomenon. (Joshua Usigan, BiPSU intern)


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