Heat kills 2 in Imperial Valley

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. – Two people are dead and close to a hundred have suffered illnesses due to the heat in the Imperial Valley this summer. Residents are forced to think of ways to beat the heat with rising temperatures.

“Well, I protect myself with water,” said Pablo Herrera, who waited for the bus in triple digit temperatures in El Centro.

“I stay in the shade and don’t go out at those high hours of high temperatures,” said Imperial Valley resident Pablo Araujo.

“Drink a lot of water, wear a hat, and try to stay in the shade,” said long time El Centro resident Don Scoville.

Health officials say two of the most vulnerable groups are young children and the elderly, especially during the hottest hours of the day.

“Noon to kind of 5 o’clock in the evening, is when we are going to see the most extreme temperatures,” said Chris Herring, Imperial County Emergency Medical Services manager.

Wear light clothing, and drink a lot water to stay hydrated and avoid heat illnesses is what health officials recommend. Some of the symptoms to look out for to avoid serious injury are: hot skin, and abnormal sweating.

“They’ll experience extra fatigue, some muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,” said Herring.

The county has teamed with up with dozens of groups and agencies to provide cool centers county-wide where you can take a minute to escape the heat.

“They come in, they are sweaty, the get a drink of water, and they just need to sit down and relax,” said Gustavo Ibarra, who runs one of the cool  centers in El Centro.

You may contact the Imperial County Health Department to find a cool center near you.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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