NiMet issues heatwave alert

By Fortune Eromosele

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has issued a heatwave warning to residents of the North Central and Northern region.

The warning came as the country begins to record high temperatures in recent days.

NiMet in a statement said that “The high temperatures of 40oc and above from April – May which are normal for the period may lead to severe discomfort amongst citizens in the country.”

The Director-General of the Agency, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu explained that heat stress and heat-related diseases such as measles, heat rashes and heat stroke are some of the adverse effects on health that will be prevalent this season.

He, therefore, advised individuals to “reside in the well-ventilated environment; limit exposure to a high temperature by avoiding, as much as possible, outdoor activities; wear light clothing and take enough fluid to avoid dehydration”.

Prof. Matazu observed that “the period is largely expected to be the warmest in the year because of the diurnal and periodic surge in the incursion of the south-westerly trade winds which will invariably accentuate the potential latent heat capacity of water vapour, an important contributor to the urban heat quotient.”

He added that while the onset of rains over most places in the south was expected in late March, especially places closer to the coast, the Northcentral and the Northern regions are still in their transition period and their temperatures are expected to be on the increase.

In the same vein, the Director-General also warned of high-intensity storms as the rains return in the southern region and some parts of the inland cities.

While he urged people to be mindful of damaging winds capable of pulling down trees, telecoms mast, electric pole and strong lightning that may cause damages to electric appliances, he called on the authorities responsible to ensure trees are pruned and telecom masts and electric poles are re-enforced.

He further admonished people against staying and parking vehicles under trees and other tall structures during the storm.