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World News May 23, 2024

Weather forecasters warn Pakistanis to stay indoors ahead of heat wave

Pakistan is experiencing an extreme heat wave, prompting authorities to advise people to stay indoors. The heat wave is expected to push temperatures up to 6 degrees Celsius above average, with parts of the country reaching over 40 degrees Celsius this week. Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, has closed all schools for a week, affecting 18 million students.

The heat wave is part of a series of climate-related disasters, including frequent glacial-driven floods and heavy monsoons. The country experienced its wettest April since 1961, with rainfall more than double the usual amount, resulting in fatalities and property damage.

Pakistan is still recovering from $30 billion in losses from climate-induced floods in 2022 that killed 1,739 people. In response to the current heat wave, hospitals have set up emergency heatwave response centers to treat those affected by the scorching temperatures. Power outages have exacerbated the situation, with some areas experiencing prolonged blackouts.

Senior meteorological official Zaheer Ahmed Babar warned that another intense heat wave could hit in June, potentially reaching 45 degrees Celsius. Despite official advice to stay indoors and hydrate, many laborers and workers struggle to heed these warnings due to the necessity of earning a livelihood.

Source – CGTN

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