The National Institute of Meteorology (Inamhi) is warning those who live in Ecuador’s central Andean valley to limit their exposure to sunshine. High ultraviolet radiation levels have been reported from Quito to Loja since late last week, with the highest readings recorded in Latacunga, Ambato and Riobamba.
“Because of high mountain elevations and our position on the equator, risks from ultraviolet radiation (UV) have been very high during the recent prolonged period of sunshine,” Inamhi said in a bulletin. “As long as the intense sunshine continues, we urge everyone in the central highlands to take precautions,” it continued.
UV levels reached the “extreme” level of 14 on Tuesday and Wednesday in Latacunga, Riobamba and Ambato, and was expected to peak again at 13 or 14 on Thursday, Inamhi said.
Other UV levels reported Tuesday in the sierra region were 10 in Quito, 9 in Cuenca, and 8 in Loja, all in the “extremely high” range of UV danger.
Inamhi said it expected sunny, dry weather to continue in most of the Andes through Thursday but said cloud cover and some rain could return on Friday and Saturday.
Inamhi assistant director Vladimir Arreaga, recommends that residents of the central highlands make special efforts to remain hydrated, use sunscreen, and to wear hats and long-sleeve shirts. Most important, he said, was to shelter children from the sun. “This is a parent’s obligation and should be taken very seriously,” he said.