The Department of Health and Welfare reported that the number of people seeking hospital treatment for heat-related injuries this May is more than double for the same month last year, and the month isn’t over yet.
According to statistics gathered from 180 hospitals around the nation, 335 people have sought treatment for heat-related symptoms so far this month, which is more than double the 160 cases reported for the whole month of May last year.
Record May Temperatures
Taiwan has been sweltering in record high temperatures for May. On May 27, the temperature in Taipei City reached 38.2°C, setting the highest temperature for the month of May since records began to be kept 122 years ago. On May 28, the temperature in Taichung City reached 36.3°C.
At 11:55am today, May 29, the temperature in Taipei City reached 37.1°C, marking the third day this month that the temperature exceeded 37°C. Also this month, in Taipei City, there have been 12 days where the temperature exceeded 35°C, also breaking a record for May, since the first weather station was set up in 1896.
NHA Warns Vulnerable Groups
The National Health Administration advises that people vulnerable to heat-related stress, including infants, toddlers, and elderly people should avoid going out between 10:00am and 2:00pm.
NHA said that elderly people are more sensitive to temperature changes and their rate of perspiration is lower. People with chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and people who work in high-temperature environments, or confined spaces are also vulnerable to suffering from heat-related stress. In addition people who live on the top floor of apartment buildings, or who live in poorly-ventilated spaces, and lack air-conditioning are also at risk.
NHA warned that the early symptoms of heatstroke include dry, red skin, a higher than normal body temperature, an increased heart beat and rate of breathing. In severe cases, the person my stop perspiring, suffer dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and possible confusion, cramps, and coma. If heatstroke symptoms are suspected, one should leave the high temperature environment, attempt to reduce body temperature, and seek medical attention.
National Power Supply Under Stress
National power supplier, Taipower, estimated that power demand this afternoon could reach 36.3MW, also marking a record for May, and bringing the power reserve ratio down to 2.8%.
A breakdown that occurred last night at Taiwan’s third-largest electricity generator, the Mailiao Power Plant in Yunlin County, has also contributed to the critically low reserve supply. United Daily News reported that as of late this morning, the breakdown is not yet repaired.
Another breakdown at Unit 8 of the Taichung Thermal Power Plant was repaired at 7:00am this morning.
The highest power load in May last year was 35.06MW.
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