False heat warning on WhatsApp flummoxes citizens

False heat warning on WhatsApp flummoxes citizens

Bengalureans are facing the heat of false messages doing the rounds on social media this summer. They have been warned to brace for unsustainable heat sooner, apparently, as a result of the equinox.

What the fake messaging handle, WhatsApp being the medium here, missed was the spring equinox was already underway in the second half of March. 

The WhatsApp message which appeared on Monday said: “The equinox will affect us in the next five days. Please stay indoors, keep animals indoors and protected, especially from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm. The temperature will fluctuate and may reach 40 degrees Celsius. This can cause dehydration and sunstroke (PS: this phenomenon is due to the sun directly positioned above the equator line). Everyone should be consuming about 3 litres of fluids every day. Monitor blood pressure as frequently as possible.”

Meanwhile, a scientist at the KSNDMC clarified: “Equinox typically happens every year between March 18 and 21. When the earth is positioned in its orbit exactly halfway between the two solstices, it is at the equinox.”  

The scientist at the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) added that the circulated message is false.

“We have not received any formal information from the government or any institution so far. The circulated message is false. My fellow scientists got the WhatsApp messages too. If there was something we would have declared it to the public,” he said.

The message went on to say people should take cold showers as frequently as possible apart from reducing the intake of meat while consuming fruits and vegetables.

It also said people may place a half-filled bucket or two of water in the living room and all other rooms to keep the temperature down.