MEXICO CITY – Mexican emergency management officials issued a preventive alert as an intense heat wave sent temperatures climbing to more than 40° C (104° F) in several areas of the north and between 32°-40° C (90°-104° F) across most of the country.
Meanwhile the governments in most of the 31 states and the Federal District (Mexico City) alerted the public to take precautions against the rising temperatures in order to avoid sunstroke and other ills.
The Sinaproc emergency management agency said Friday in a communique that the states suffering “extreme heat” of over 40° C (104° F) in some areas or across most of their territory are Sonora, Chihuahua and Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, all located in the north.
Similar temperatures also occur in Sinaloa (northwest), San Luis Potosi (central), Veracruz (east), Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche and Yucatan, the latter four in the south-southeast of the country.
Sinaproc recommends that the population drink more water, avoid prolonged exposure to sun rays, wear white or light-colored clothing and use caps, hats or parasols.
It also warned that special attention should be given to children, the elderly and indigenous peoples.
It said that the recommendations of the Health Secretariat should be observed to prevent illnesses from the high temperatures.
Health authorities said that the incidence of diarrhea-causing infirmities rose by 5 percent over the last few weeks.
In the Federal District, authorities warned capital residents that the temperature will reach 32° C (90° F), and in consequence recommended inhabitants to drink plenty of water, wear light clothing and avoid exposure to the sun.
For Sunday the authorities forecast continued high temperatures during the day, with a low of 15°-17° C (59°-63° F), with variable winds of 20-40 kilometers (12-25 miles) per hour and probable stronger gusts.
The health secretary of the Federal District, Armando Ahued, said that the heat wave could cause fainting, dizziness and the feeling of a lack of air among passengers of the Metro.
He said that capital authorities have placed fans, sprays and drinking water in the aisles of the Metro, since air conditioning does not operate on the trains.
He added that the high temperatures over the past few days are an example of the effects of climate change in the world and described current thermometer readings as historic.