Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The ultraviolet (UV) radiation index in much of the southern region, including HCM City, will continue to be at 10-12 high-risk level until the end of this week, according to a meteorologist.
Lê Thị Xuân Lan, lecturer at the HCM City University for Natural Resources and Environment, said that the prolonged dry season and hot weather since the beginning of the year had caused the high UV level.
According to the Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting in the Southern Region, the average temperature since Monday has been 34-40 degrees Celsius.
All southern provinces and the area’s two major cities, HCM City and Cần Thơ, received a total of 10-50 millimetres of rain, beginning on May 1.
Lan said that the UV index of 8 to 10 is considered "very high" exposure, and 11 to 13 is considered "extreme", according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“UV radiation is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. The overexposure could lead to high risk of harm to health,” Lan said.
She forecasted that the radiation would diminish after May 15 as the region would see increased rainfall.
Moreover, ozone is depleting, leading to an increase of ultraviolet C on earth, which could cause cancer or mutant skin cells.
“Residents should pay attention to the UV index and protect themselves,” she said.
The Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting in Southern Region also should publish the index in the media and on its website, Lan added.
Dr Lê Ngọc Diệp, head of HCM City University Medical Centre’s dermatology and venerology ward, said that too much exposure can cause skin cancer.
“However, it is not right to say that people should completely avoid the sun because they also need Vitamin D provided by the sun,” Diệp said.
People should avoid going outside between 10am and 4 pm when UV radiation is the strongest, she added.
“They should wear a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved clothes, sunglasses and masks. Sunscreen should also be used,” she said.
It is best to use sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and once every two hours, she added.
Such prolonged hot weather could make people weak and dehydrated, she said.
In HCM City, Nguyễn Nam Hoàng of District 10 who sells drinks at the corner of February 3 Street has had to cover his stall with a large umbrella.
“It’s very hot and sunny. I get headaches and am always thirsty,” Hoàng said, adding that he now closes his stall at an earlier hour because of the heat. — VNS