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Hot weather “covers” South Asia

Hot is “circling” many countries in South Asia. On April 29, Pakistan issued a heat warning after experiencing its hottest March in 61 years. Meanwhile, many schools in India have closed because the heat has not shown any signs of cooling down.

In a statement, Pakistan’s federal minister for climate change Sherry Rehman called on the federal government and local governments to take precautions against the heat, which reached 47 degrees Celsius in many places. . She said the temperature in Pakistan is forecast to be 6-8 degrees Celsius higher than average. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, March was still the hottest month in the country since 1961.

Minister Rehman cited scientists warning that more than 1 billion people around the world are at risk of the effects of heat in the region due to climate change. This is the first time Pakistan has changed from winter to summer without spring.

Across South Asia, people have to seek shelter from the heat. The heat became more severe as many areas in Pakistan and India lost power, partly due to a shortage of coal, after unusually hot weather in March and April caused electricity demand to increase, causing inflation to increase. stockpiles.

Last week, many Pakistani cities had to cut power for up to 8 hours a day, while rural people only had electricity for half a day. More worryingly, Pakistan’s national disaster management agency warned of the risk of flash floods in northern regions, as rising temperatures could melt the ice.

In India, the highest temperature measured in the capital New Delhi reached 43 degrees Celsius, many power stations only had enough coal for less than a day. The head of New Delhi, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, acknowledged: “The situation across India is very dire”, and warned of the risk of power cuts to hospitals and the city’s metro system.

Many Indian states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have cut power supply to industrial zones because of coal shortages at power plants. India also canceled some passenger trains to increase coal capacity for power plants.

The Indian Meteorological Department predicts that the heat will continue for the next 3 days.

Indian doctors say more and more people are falling ill from heat stroke, and are concerned about the risk of stroke. In fact, many patients have been hospitalized due to heatstroke or heat-related problems. 60-70% of patients are children with vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and other symptoms.

In Odisha, in the eastern Indian state, schools were closed, while the neighboring state of West Bengal had to extend the summer break for students by a few days.

Hot weather is also the cause of many forest fires in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh in recent weeks.

Indian health experts even think that this South Asian country is even more concerned about this heat wave than the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.

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