Thursday, March 23, 2023

Severe heatwave continues across country – water crisis, power cuts worsen misery

Separate advisories were issued to citizens, education institutions in the wake of prevailing heatwave in the country

Pakistan is currently in the grip of a severe heatwave which is expected to continue through the ongoing week.

A rain spell is expected to enter in upper areas of the country by the end of this week, according to the Deputy Director of Forecast Pakistan Meteorological Department. The rain spell will provide a bit of relief from the heatwave, said the Met official, adding that pre-monsoon will begin by the mid of next month.

Jacobabad temperature hits 51 degrees Celsius

Jacobabad, a city in Sindh province, is struggling the most with the prevailing heatwave as the temperature peaked at 51 degrees Celsius over the weekend. The water crisis and power cuts are worsening the miseries of the citizens of Jacobabad. Rural areas are getting only six hours of electricity supply in a day while in the city it is 12 hours. Canals in the city – a vital source of irrigation for nearby farms – have run dry, with trickles of stagnant water barely visible around strewn rubbish.

The city is on the “front line of climate change”, said its Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hafeez Siyal. “The overall quality of life here is suffering.”

NHS, NIH issue advisories

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have issued separate advisories for citizens and educational institutes to sensitize concerned authorities and educational institutions to take necessary measures for preparedness and response to incidents of heatstroke in their respective domains.

Some regions in the country recorded temperatures of 50°C, amid the prevailing heatwave. The temperature recorded in the twin cities over the weekend was 43°C.

“Children and young people are more susceptible to heat stress and therefore schools must have measures in place to prepare for and manage the risks associated with extreme hot weather,” stated the advisory issued by NIH.

The advisory also urged educational institutions to increase the number of water coolers.

Heatstroke could be fatal, warns NHS ministry

Heatstroke is a medical condition that can be fatal if not treated in time, warned the NHS ministry in its advisory.

“If heat stroke is not treated properly, it can cause death, damage organs, or lead to disability,” the advisory said.

Symptoms of heatstroke

  • Hot and dry skin
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Fever
  • Headache, and
  • Rapid heartbeat

Who’s at risk?

  • Infants
  • Citizens over 65 years
  • Diabetes patients
  • People with high blood pressure
  • Athletes, and
  • Outdoor workers

The ongoing heatwave is expected to continue till May 18, according to the Met Office.

Zakhia Irfan
Zakhia is a dedicated journalist who loves to read and travel. She covers all aspects of aviation and travel news for Islamabad Scene.

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