The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has clarified that Indonesia is currently experiencing rising temperatures, but it is not being categorised as a heatwave.
BMKG Deputy of Meteorology, R. Mulyono R. Prabowo explained that Indonesia’s geographical position along the Earth’s equator does not allow weather phenomena such as heatwaves to happen in Indonesia. “Therefore, the hot temperature currently happening is an annual cycle caused by the pseudo motion of the sun,” he elaborated.
In 2015, Semarang experienced the hottest temperature in Indonesia with a record of 39.5°C, not quite hitting 40°C.
Today, BMKG issued warnings that areas that sit south of the equator, primarily across Java and Nusa Tenggara, will be exposed to hot temperatures. The agency’s meteorological stations across the country have recorded that the average maximum air temperature has been 37°C since 19th October, with three stations in Sulawesi reaching high-temperature readings of 37.8 – 38.8°C on 20th October. This month has also seen BMKG record the highest temperatures in 30 years on the island of Bali. Bali, in fact, has recorded the warmest temperature on the island since 30 years ago this month.
A general practitioner at Pertamina Jaya Hospital in Central Jakarta, Daniel Bramantyo, has advised the public to be aware of potential health hazards during this extreme weather, saying that coughs, colds, and respiratory conditions were common complaints during the dry season.
“However, the medical condition that most are likely to suffer is heat stroke, where the sufferers may feel extreme dizziness, exhaustion, throbbing headaches, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, and a rapid heartbeat,” Daniel said. “Consuming healthy food is important to protect the body from disease in this extreme weather, and also had an impact on endurance as the body needs to adapt to significant temperature changes.”
The Kramat Jati community health centre in East Jakarta has said that up to 800 people have visited its clinic every day over the past few days. “On average, about 600 patients have been visiting per day, but for the 24-hour service, it can be 700 to 800 patients,” the head of the health centre, Inda Mutiara, said.
The potential for blistering temperatures continues next week, as the sun is still moving south and dry atmospheric conditions are hindering the growth of cloud cover. BMKG has advised people affected by the hot weather to drink enough water to avoid dehydration, wear clothing that can protect the skin from the sun, and be aware of activities that may trigger forest and brush fires, especially in high-risk areas.
Source: Asia One & Coconuts