Argentina’s national meteorological service (SMN) has issued warnings for high temperatures across much of the north of country, including the capital Buenos Aires, from Thursday, December 14, through Saturday, December 16. Highs between 35 and 44°C (95-111°F) are forecast in the following provinces: Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Formosa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, and Tucumán.
Power outages due to increased demand for air conditioners are likely, particularly in the Buenos Aires region. Outages, common in the capital during periods of extreme temperatures, often lead to angry demonstrations by residents as well as traffic disruptions due to nonfunctioning traffic lights.
Furthermore, the extreme heat could be hazardous to health, particularly for the elderly, young children, and people suffering from chronic illnesses such as cardiac issues, hypertension, and diabetes.
In December 2015, just after coming into power, President Mauricio Macri declared a state of emergency regarding the country’s deficient electricity infrastructure. The issue is being addressed but is not expected to be resolved until at least 2019.
Symptoms of heatstroke include: high fever, hot, red, dry skin, headache, nausea, drowsiness, intense thirst, confusion, convulsions, and loss of consciousness.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of local weather forecasts, avoid strenuous outdoor activity, remain indoors as much as possible between 10:00 and 16:00 (local time) when temperatures tend to peak, remain well-hydrated (with sugar-free, non-alcoholic beverages), and wear loose, light-colored clothing. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention if displaying symptoms of heatstroke.
Individuals in Buenos Aires are advised to be prepared for power cuts, limit the use of appliances, avoid all protests, and be cautious when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functioning.