Temperatures have been soaring this week in Mexico, reaching as high as 47 C in two locations, and the heat wave continued across much of the country today.
The mercury hit 47 in Metztitlán, Hidalgo, and Huites, Sinaloa, yesterday, according to the National Meteorological Service (SMN), while it was 45 degrees or above in locations in Chihuahua, Michoacán, Guerrero and Jalisco.
Some relief may soon be on the way to some areas in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, where the SMN has forecast electrical storms.
Yesterday’s heat wave led federal Civil Protection authorities to declare extraordinary emergency situations in 329 municipalities in 13 different states. The measure was later extended to include 573 municipalities in 22 states.
In Mexico City, where temperatures reached 31 yesterday, residents attempted to combat the heat in a variety of ways.
Shorts and miniskirts were the favored attire for many women, while businessmen and office workers rolled up their sleeves and removed their ties to seek relief.
Some capitalinos choose to visit one of the city’s hundreds of cantinas to quench their thirst and cool down — with mixed results.
“Not even a beer is enough to quell the heat,” 65-year-old pensioner Luis González told the newspaper El Universal as he fanned himself and mopped sweat from his brow with a handkerchief after he had downed a dark ale.
“The beer made me even thirstier, my mouth feels dry and my saliva’s heavy. That’s why I decided to order water, I hope that this will get rid of it [the heat],” he added, holding up his glass.
Other patrons are trying their luck with mojitos, a barman at another cantina said, explaining that along with beer it is the most popular beverage when the mercury starts to climb.
Saúl López told El Universal that the number of customers has risen in recent days, seemingly indicating that many still believe drinking alcoholic beverages is a tried and tested remedy for the heat.
For children — and the young at heart — the fountains at the Monument to the Revolution or in the Alameda Central Park have been popular all week, with kids quick to remove their shoes and douse themselves — often fully-clothed — in the spurts of water.
For others, dealing with the heat hasn’t been quite so much fun.
In the city’s crowded subway system — where conditions can be uncomfortable even in times of more moderate weather —temperatures reached as high as 38 yesterday.
Commuters tried to cope as best they could by moving as close as possible to one of the ceiling fans in the carriages or buying a frozen paleta (popsicle). One man compared entering a train to going into a steam room.
His daughter Esperanza said “there’s nowhere to hide, it’s really hot and even though they put the fans on, it’s impossible to feel them . . .”