Heatwave sweeps country, Pakistani cities approach 50 degrees Celsius climate crisis news

Parts of the country have been scorched by temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius as officials warned of severe water shortages and threats to health.

Pakistan is in sweltering heat, with parts of the country already scorched by temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius as officials warn of severe water shortages and health threats.

Large swathes of Pakistan have been blanketed by high temperatures since late April, with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warning of extreme weather and climate change.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said the temperature reached 49.5 degrees Celsius (121 degrees Fahrenheit) in the city of Yakobad, Sindh province on Thursday, and the temperature is expected to remain unchanged until the end of the week.

Nationwide, the PMD warned of temperatures between 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) and 9 degrees Celsius (16 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal, with temperatures in the capital Islamabad and provincial hubs Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar on Friday afternoon Recorded around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

“This year we jumped from winter to summer,” said PMD chief forecaster Zaheer Ahmad Babar.

Since 2015, Pakistan has experienced an intensified heat wave, mainly in upper Sindh and southern Punjab, he said.

“Intensity is increasing, duration is increasing, frequency is increasing,” he said.

Punjab irrigation spokesman Adnan Hassan said the Indus – Pakistan’s main waterway – has shrunk by 65 percent this year “due to a lack of rain and snow”.

Sheep have reportedly died from heat stroke and dehydration in the Jolistan Desert in Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, which is also the country’s breadbasket.

“If water scarcity persists, there is a real danger of shortages in the country’s food and crop supplies this year,” Hassan said.

On Tuesday, Climate Minister Sherry Rehman warned residents of the eastern megacity of Lahore to “hide during the hottest part of the day”.

Pakistan, a country of 220 million people, says it contributes less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it ranks eighth among the countries most affected by extreme weather events, according to a 2021 study by environmental group Germanwatch.

While extreme heat has a clear impact, it can also trigger a chain of disasters that hit Pakistan’s generally impoverished population.

The mountains of Pakistan are home to more than 7,000 glaciers, more than any other region outside the poles.

Rapidly melting glaciers swell the lake, which then ruptures and releases torrents of ice, rock and water in an event known as a glacial lake eruption flood.

Over the weekend, a major road bridge in the Gilgit-Baltistan region was washed away by flash floods caused by melting glaciers.

In April, officials warned that 33 lakes in Pakistan were at risk of similarly dangerous flooding.

Heat wave is coming ravage indiathe temperature reached 48.1 degrees Celsius (118.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of Rajasthan on Thursday.

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