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With mercury at 50˚C, is Jacobabad the hottest city in Asia?

14 May, 2022
<p>Local residents at the drinking water stall set up by the government in Jacobabad. Photo via Ghulam Abbas</p>

Local residents at the drinking water stall set up by the government in Jacobabad. Photo via Ghulam Abbas

JACOBABAD: Jacobabad on Saturday hit 50˚C, becoming one of the hottest cities in the world. For locals, the sweltering heat is an annual feature with the mercury known to soar past 52˚C.

“This is Asia’s hottest city,” says a Jacobabad resident while describing the state of hot weather in the city, which is expected to shoot to 50˚C on Saturday (today) like most cities in the province.

Last year, temperature in Jacobabad crossed 52˚C as Pakistan reels from the impact of climate change. The increase in temperature has stopped buyers and sellers from stepping out of their houses, particularly during the afternoon. Markets are deserted with footfall almost non-existent during the afternoon with everything coming to a standstill between 2pm to 5pm.

Stop-gap solution

In order to keep people hydrated, the government has set up temporary stalls of drinking water. People of all age groups are volunteering at these stalls. A group of students in a Qingpi (read Chingchi), a local rickshaw-like service, said they had taken the day off due to the sweltering heat.

Aaj News spoke to one of the locals at the water stall who said that the area suffered from major power outages. He urged the government to decrease the hours of loadshedding in order to provide relief to the public struggling to deal with the sweltering heat.

Residents said that the mercury routinely soars to 50˚C, 51˚C, and 52˚C in Jacobabad, which is Sindh’s last city.

Climate change

The intense heatwave in India and Pakistan will conntinue , the World Meteorological Organisation said in a tweet on Friday.

The WMO said on April 29 that the heatwave was triggered by a high-pressure system and follows an extended period of above-average temperatures.

The local met office said that most parts of the country are likely to remain in the grip of heatwave like conditions during the next week.

“Slight relief is expected in most parts of the country during 14th (evening/night) to 17th May, 2022, that is, mainly due to duststorms/gusty winds, rain-thunderstorm at scattered places in most parts of the country in the afternoon and evening/night. Day temperatures are again likely to rise from 18th May, 2022,” read the Met Office press release issued on Saturday.

The climate change ministry has received the advisory issued by the met department regarding the heatwave

“District admins must make contingency arrangements: Heat sickness symptoms include raised body temp exhaustion,headaches, nausea,vomiting & poor coordination,” Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said in a series of tweets.