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Temperatures cross 52 C in Pakistan's Sindh amid heat wave


Temperatures rose above 52 degrees Celsius in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, the highest reading of the summer and close to the country's record high amid an ongoing heat wave, the meteorological office said on Monday.

Extreme temperatures throughout Asia over the past month were made worse, most likely as a result of human-driven climate change, according to a team of international scientists.

A boy has water poured on his head to cool himself during a hot summer day in Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan, May 26, 2024. /CFP
A boy has water poured on his head to cool himself during a hot summer day in Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan, May 26, 2024. /CFP

A boy has water poured on his head to cool himself during a hot summer day in Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan, May 26, 2024. /CFP

In Mohenjo Daro, a town in Sindh known for archaeological sites that date back to the Indus Valley Civilization built in 2500 BC, temperatures rose as high as 52.2 degrees Celsius over the last 24 hours, a senior official of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Shahid Abbas, said.

The reading is the highest of the summer so far and approached the town's and country's record highs of 53.5 degrees Celsius and 54 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Mohenjo Daro is a small town that experiences extremely hot summers, mild winters and low rainfall, but its limited markets, including bakeries, tea shops, mechanics, electronic repair shops, and fruit and vegetable sellers, are usually bustling with customers.

But with the current heat wave, shops are seeing almost no footfall.

"The customers are not coming to the restaurant because of extreme heat. I sit idle at the restaurant with these tables and chairs and without any customers," said Wajid Ali, 32, who owns a tea stall in the town.

"I take baths several times a day, which gives me a little relief. Also, there is no power. The heat has made us very uneasy."

Close to Ali's shop is an electronic repair shop run by Abdul Khaliq, 30, who was sat working with the shop's shutter half down to shield him from the sun. Khaliq also complained about the heat affecting business.

Local doctor Mushtaq Ahmed added that the locals have adjusted to living in extreme weather conditions and prefer staying indoors or near water.

"Pakistan is the fifth most vulnerable country to the impact of climate change. We have witnessed above-normal rains [and] floods," Romina Khursheed Alam, the prime minister's coordinator on climate, said at a news conference on Friday, adding that the government is running awareness campaigns due to the heat waves.

The highest temperature recorded in Pakistan was in 2017, when temperatures rose to 54 degrees Celsius in the city of Turbat, located in the southwestern province of Balochistan. This was the second hottest in Asia and the fourth highest in the world, said Dr. Sardar Sarfaraz, chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

The heat wave will subside in Mohenjo Daro and surrounding areas, but another spell is expected to hit other areas in Sindh, including the capital of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.

(Cover: People take showers to beat the heat during the hot weather of the summer season at a heat stroke camp in Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan, May 27, 2024. /CFP)

Source(s): Reuters
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