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Pakistan Endures Scorching Heatwave with Temperatures Soaring Above 52 Degrees Celsius

Photo : Reuters

In Mohenjo Daro, a town in Sindh renowned for its archaeological sites dating back to the Indus Valley Civilisation built in 2500 BC, temperatures soared to a scorching 52.2 degrees Celsius over the last 24 hours, according to Shahid Abbas, a senior official of the Pakistan Meteorological Department. This extreme heatwave marks the highest temperature recorded this summer and approaches the town's and the country's record highs of 53.5 and 54 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Pakistan's southern province of Sindh is currently enduring an intense heatwave, with temperatures surpassing 52 degrees Celsius. This is the highest temperature reading of the summer and is dangerously close to Pakistan’s record high. The met office confirmed this on Monday, emphasizing the severity of the ongoing heatwave.

Extreme temperatures have been prevalent across Asia over the past month. According to a team of international scientists, these conditions have been exacerbated by human-driven climate change. The intense heatwave has significantly impacted daily life in Mohenjo Daro, a small town that typically experiences extremely hot summers, mild winters, and low rainfall.

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Despite its challenging climate, Mohenjo Daro's markets, which include bakeries, tea shops, mechanics, electronics repair shops, and fruit and vegetable sellers, are usually bustling with customers. However, the current heatwave has drastically reduced foot traffic. Wajid Ali, a 32-year-old tea stall owner, lamented the lack of customers due to the extreme heat, saying, "The customers are not coming to the restaurant because of the extreme heat. I sit idle at the restaurant with these tables and chairs without any customers."

Ali finds some relief by taking multiple baths throughout the day, but he also struggles with power outages. "The heat has made us very uneasy," he added. Similarly, Abdul Khaliq, a 30-year-old electronics repair shop owner, works with the shop's shutter half down to shield himself from the sun. He also expressed frustration over how the heat has negatively affected his business.

Local doctor Mushtaq Ahmed explained that residents have adapted to living in extreme weather conditions by staying indoors or near water. The town's extreme heat has forced many to adjust their routines to cope with the harsh climate.

Rubina Khursheed Alam, the prime minister’s coordinator on climate, highlighted Pakistan's vulnerability to climate change during a news conference on Friday, May 24. "Pakistan is the fifth most vulnerable country to the impact of climate change. We have witnessed above normal rains, floods," she said, adding that the government is running awareness campaigns to help people cope with the heatwaves.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan was 54 degrees Celsius in Turbat, Balochistan, in 2017. This temperature is the second highest recorded in Asia and the fourth highest in the world, according to Sardar Sarfaraz, Chief Meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

While the heatwave is expected to subside in Mohenjo Daro and surrounding areas, another heatwave is predicted to affect other parts of Sindh, including Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. The government and local authorities continue to monitor the situation and are working to mitigate the effects of these extreme temperatures on the population.

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May 28, 2024 3:45 p.m. 330

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