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Pregnant women, elderly at risk as Pakistan heat soars above 50°C

Pregnant women, elderly at risk as Pakistan heat soars above 50°C
27 May 2024 15:16

Islamabad (dpa) - Pakistani authorities issued a warning on Monday to pregnant women and elderly about the dangers posed by a sweltering heatwave sweeping the country, with temperatures soaring as high as 53°C.

"Intensity, frequency and duration of the heatwaves in Pakistan is increasing as compared to previous years. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are the vulnerable," Muhammad Saleem, spokesman for the climate change ministry, told dpa.

On Sunday, the mercury in Mohenjo Daro, one of the world's ancient major cities in Sindh province, was recorded at 53°C, according to the Pakistan Metrological Department.

Temperatures in May are 5 to 7°C higher than the past this year.

Saleem said that the heatwave is expected to continue until the end of this month, with two additional heatwaves anticipated to affect more regions in June.

He added that the heat index would worsen due to low green cover and vegetation. The Pakistani government ordered the closure of schools, postponed exams, declared emergencies at hospitals and set up thousands of heat relief camps due to the extreme weather.

Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of global carbon emissions but is among the top 10 most climate-vulnerable nations.

Flash floods, land erosion, cloudbursts, droughts and smog resulting in low air quality have been on the rise in Pakistan in recent years.

Hundreds of people are killed in Pakistan every year in climate-induced disasters while thousands lose their habitat and livelihood in a country that contributes little to global carbon emissions.

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