By Harrison Arubu
The United States National Weather Service has warned of a possible killer heat wave across parts of the country starting from Wednesday through the weekend.
In an alert published on its website, the agency said temperatures were expected to rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in worst-hit areas.
Reports say the health of no fewer than 15 million people across the U.S. is at risk in the looming “dangerously high temperatures”predicted to remain high even at night.
Expected to be affected is the region stretching from northern Oklahoma and central Nebraska through Iowa, Missouri and western Illinois, according to the warning.
It urged people in central and south-central Kansas, Des Moines and parts of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, to also brace up for the condition.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the New York State Government is not taking the warning lightly.
Officials are frantically taking measures to prevent New York City, nicknamed the Big Apple, from “turning into a baked apple.”
At a joint news conference on Wednesday evening, the city’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and environmental and health officials announced the opening of public cooling centres.
The officials said about 500 air-conditioned centres would be opened across the commercial city.
The measures include an extension of pool hours among other tips on how residents could stay cool.
In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection said it planned to provide potable drinking fountains in busy pedestrian areas across the city.
They said city pools would stay open an extra hour between 11 a.m. and 8p.m. from Friday to Sunday.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Oxiris Barbot, advised people against ice-cold showers, which he said could be a shock to the system.
Instead, he said they should settle for lukewarm water, drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol which lead to dehydration.
Mayor de Blasio urged people to call 911 if they felt faint or weak with the condition showing no sign of improvement with water and shade.