Warning to the vulnerable as Canterbury prepares to fizzle


People are reminded to drink plenty of water in temperatures of up to 30 degrees in Canterbury.
Photo: 123rf

Te Whatu Ora is urging Cantabrians to stay cool and hydrated during what looks set to be a series of scorching temperatures set to hit the region this week.

Warm weather is forecast for Christchurch, with temperatures forecast to reach a maximum of 30°C on Thursday and 29°C on Friday.

Canterbury medical officer Ramon Pink said overheating is a condition that can be fatal.

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“It is especially important to stay out of the sun whenever possible, avoid extreme physical exertion and make sure pets and people are not left alone in stationary cars.

“While we are all vulnerable to high temperatures, some people are particularly at risk. This includes the elderly, infants and children, women who are pregnant or those suffering from chronic, acute and severe illness,” he said.

Dr. Pink also advised people to drink plenty of water and reapply sunscreen every two hours when they were outside.

“Besides being sun smart (slip, slop, slack and wrap) when you have to go outside, everyone is advised to keep their homes cool by closing curtains on windows that get direct sunlight, opening windows to let in a breeze, when it’s cooler outside than inside, and consider using the refrigeration cycle on heat pumps,” he said.

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Canterbury is moving into a restricted fire season on Thursday due to an increased risk of bushfires, meaning all outdoor fires will require a permit.

The shift will affect the Rakaia River in the north, including the hills and high country, the foothills and Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and the Port Hills, the city of Christchurch and the Kaikōura Plains.

Fire and Emergency Dean Harker, the risk manager for the Canterbury community, said hot weather mixed with wind and dry vegetation was a real concern.

He advised people to go to the website to get a sense of the conditions and whether it was safe to start a fire, even if they had a permit.

“We had a fire in North Canterbury yesterday that was contained, but given the circumstances, the fire was getting out of control, requiring resources to deal with it,” Harker said. Report tomorrow.

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“Anything can cause a fire, only one [lawnmower] knife hits a stone or something like that. So we’re urging people not to do that in the extreme heat of the day look for other times of the day to do that but keep in mind if a spark ignites something the fire will go out pretty quickly hand can walk.”

The warm weather forecast is expected to drag on into next week, but restrictions would be reviewed daily, he said.

“Even with a little bit of rain right now, it won’t really make a difference to that vegetation just because it’s so dry.”



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