The ultraviolet index in Ho Chi Minh City has risen to dangerous levels amid a scorching heat wave.
Data from Weather Online, a U.K.-based meteorological services firm, shows the index is expected to climb to the ‘very high’ level of 12 from now until April 19.
U.S. weather forecast service AccuWeather showed the index could reach a ‘peak level’ of 13.
The UV Index is an international standard measurement of the strength of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. A UV Index of between 0 and 3 is considered ‘low’, and above 11 is deemed ‘extreme.’ In extreme conditions, radiation could burn the skin and damage the eyes after only 30 minutes of exposure
Health experts say such UV levels could pose several health risks, including skin cancer, to those who do not protect themselves properly from the sun and heat.
“When exposed to too much sunlight, the skin can get burnt, become dry, lose its elasticity, accelerate aging and may even develop skin cancer,” said Nguyen Trieu Vu, head of the Oncology Department at Thu Duc District Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.
Experts have advised residents to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and brimmed hats.
The city’s recent severe heat wave has seen temperatures soar to 32-36 degrees Celsius. But the RealFeel temperature, which indicates how hot it actually feels outdoors, was around 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The dry season is expected to last until at least mid-May.
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