Red Cross warns against rise in global heat wave 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has cautioned the general public on the rising cases of heat waves across the globe, which it said was a result of climate change, and thus called for a concerted effort to mitigate its deadly effects.

The humanitarian aid organisation issued this advisory via its verified Facebook page ahead of the June 14 Heat Action Day themed, ‘Beat The Heat’.

It urged governments, policymakers, stakeholders, and individuals to take the menace of heat waves seriously, as it could portend grave danger to human health and the environment as a whole.

‘‘Heat waves are deadly. Every year, they claim the lives of infants, older people, and people with chronic health conditions around the world.

‘‘People living in cities and towns tend to be the hardest hit because urban areas are generally hotter than the surrounding countryside,’’ the agency said.

According to the IFRC, due to climate change, heat waves are on the rise globally — getting both hotter and longer, but which should not necessarily lead to tragedy if reasonable precautions against the scourge were taken.

‘‘There are simple actions we can all take to protect ourselves, our neighbours, our family members, and friends. These include drinking water, resting in the shade, and avoiding outdoor activity in the hottest part of the day.

‘‘We need a Heat Action Day to raise awareness about this silent emergency so more people worldwide can stay safe and beat the heat.’’

‘‘On June 14, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will perform coordinated heat wave flash mobs in public spaces to raise awareness of heat risks and share simple ways to #BeatTheHeat,’’ the organisation said.

A heat wave is a period of extremely hot weather, characterised by high humidity, especially in countries with maritime climates.

Many countries – including the United States of America, Paraguay, Argentina, and India – have recently experienced heat waves that have claimed many lives.

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