Up to 50 ° C in places: Pakistan remains crushed by a suffocating heat wave

The country has experienced, since the end of April, record heat that the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (OMM) considers “coherent” with climate change.

Le Monde with AFP

Pakistan was once again confronted on Friday, May 13, at abnormally high temperatures, reaching 50 ° C in places, while the authorities warned against the risk of water shortage and the threat to health .

Large sides of the country have known, since the end of April, a record heat wave that the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (OMM) considers “coherent” with climate change.

Thursday, temperatures climbed up to 50 ° C in Jacobabad, in the southern province of Sindh, reported the Pakistani meteorological service (PMD), specifying that it could be so until the end of the Week.

On the national level, temperatures are between 6 and 9 ° C “above the seasonal normal”, underlined the PMD, the thermometer displaying Friday 40 ° C in the capital, Islamabad, and the big cities de Karachi (south), Lahore (east) and Peshawar (north-west).

The flow of the Industry river reduces by 65 % this year

“This year, we went directly from winter to summer,” said the PMD chief forecastist Zaheer Ahmad Babar. Pakistan has been struck since 2015 by the rise in temperatures, especially in the Sindh and Pendjab (center) since 2015. “The intensity, duration and frequency [of these scorching episodes] increase,” he explained to the France-Presse agency. The situation should still worsen in the coming years in South Asia due to global warming, have warned scientists.

The flow of the Industry river was reduced by 65 % this year “due to the lack of rains and snow,” said the spokesperson for the Irrigation Department in the Pendjab, Adnan Hassan. Taking its source in Tibet, the Industry crosses India and then Pakistan before leading to the Arabian Sea. Its basin provides 90 % of Pakistan’s water supply.

The Pakistani press reported that sheep died insoleration and dehydration in the Cholistan desert, at Pendjab, the most populous province and the country’s cereal attic. “There is a real risk of shortage of food and crops this year in the country, if this lack of water should persist,” said Hassan.

Pakistan, which has 220 million inhabitants, says he is responsible for only 1 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, it appears in eighth position of the countries most threatened by extreme weather phenomena, according to a study by the NGO Germanwatch.

India also affected

The heat wave also struck the neighboring India, temperatures reaching 48.1 ° C Thursday in the district of Barmer, in the province of Rajasthan (northwest). They could amount to 46 ° C from Sunday in New Delhi.

Very high temperatures are also announced for the weekend in most of the northwest of India, before an expected improvement with the arrival of the monsoon. On Tuesday, the Pakistani Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, called the inhabitants of Lahore to stay in the shade “during the hottest hours of the day”.

/Media reports.