By Mary Judaline Partlow

FAINTING SPELL. About 45 street dancers and spectators pass out during a Pakol Festival street dancing competition and showdown in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental on Wednesday afternoon (April 24, 2024). The fainting spells were attributed to the extreme heat index that day. (Screen grab from video courtesy of Julia Arjillo)

DUMAGUETE CITY – About 45 street dancers and spectators in the Pakol Festival in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental passed out at the height of the competition due to extreme heat, an official said Thursday.

Guian Jeif Anqui, a nurse and in charge of Operations and Warning of the Sta. Catalina Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said in an interview that the fainting spells occurred before the festival’s street dancing competition began Wednesday afternoon.

“Some of the street dancers had already passed out before 2 p.m. and were treated with oral rehydration salts and given first aid by emergency responders on standby,” he said.

The cases were sporadic as the street dancing was ongoing, he added.

Anqui attributed the fainting spells to the extreme heat index of between 40°C and 41°C as monitored by the DRRM team.

Eight contingents participated in the yearly Pakol Festival as part of the town’s annual fiesta held every April 25.

According to Anqui, the street dancing finished at about 3 p.m. and the route was a short one of about eight blocks.

During the grand showdown that followed the street dancing, which was held at the park, more people also passed out, he said.

So far, the patients responded to emergency treatment, and no one was reported to have been admitted to a hospital, Anqui added. (PNA)