Heat wave broils central Chile

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Santiago, Dec 15 (IANS) The Chilean Meteorology Directorate (DMC) has issued an extreme heat alert for the central part of the country, reports said on Thursday.

The MET office specifically pointed at regions between Valparaiso and Maule, where the heat index could rise over 40 degrees Celsius, Efe news reported.

The temperatures would reach their peak around 5 p.m., in Santiago which has a population of 7 million.

Given the scenario, experts put out advice on local media to help people endure the dangerously high heat.

The experts urged the public to stay well hydrated, especially children.

Along those lines, experts also suggested avoiding alcoholic beverages, since they foster dehydration, and eating fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables.

They also recommended wearing light and light-coloured clothing and using a cap or hat if one is going out in the middle of the day, especially from noon until about 6 p.m.

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The Buin Zoo, located about 30 km south of the capital, implemented a number of measures to keep its animals cool, including giving frozen fish or other very cold food to them.

The high temperatures also posed threat of forest fires, as demonstrated by the six red alerts issued and the 80 incidents registered nationwide on Tuesday, according to National Forestry Corporation figures.



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