Cruel summer: Peru to have highest radiation levels in world

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February is notoriously hot in Peru, and this year will only break records for temperature and radiation levels.

When is scoring 19 out of 20 a bad thing? When its on a radiation scale.

According to the national weather service (SENAMHI), Peru will experience radiation levels registering a 19 on a scale of 20. In order to be considered “extreme,” a number higher than 11 must be reached. Eight points over the extreme starting point, Peru will have one of the highest levels of radiation in the world.

In the highlands of Peru, some areas have already recorded such a high level, including Junin and Cerro del Pasco. Paul Alva, a SENAMHI specialist, told El Comercio that cities such as those aforementioned as well as Cusco and Puno will hurt the most because of their high elevation.

January made many people worry for what’s to come in February, considering that temperatures in Lima reached as high as 33°C, and recorded the highest low temperatures in the past 19 years (24.7°C). In the capital city, radiation levels are expected to reach 15 this month.

Since Mother Nature has already made her decision for how this summer will carry out, we can only be prepared: use sunglasses, brimmed hats, lotion with SPF (at least 30), and avoid direct sunlight during peak hours (midday).

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Agnes Rivera

A U.S. native plucked from the green surroundings of her home state of Oregon, Agnes Rivera has been living in Lima, Peru, fulfilling various occupations such as teaching, translating, and journalism. While indoors she uses her time creatively to build "recycled art" and read fiction, she is quick to use any excuse to be outdoors, balancing her inner home-body lifestyle with an adventurous spirit to explore all that Peru has to offer.