India and Pakistan face temperatures of almost 50°C during heat wave | World

India and Pakistan are experiencing a strong heat wave that has reached temperatures of almost 50°C. Pakistani authorities issued a heat alert in the country which recorded the highest temperature in 61 years, 47°C.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman urged the federal and provincial governments to take precautionary measures to manage the intense heat wave, which has reached highs of 47°C in parts of the country.

“South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan, are facing what was a record heat wave. It started in early April and continues to leave people gasping in whatever shade they can find,” Rehman said in a statement.

A man breaks an ice cube to distribute among residents of Ahmedabad, India – Photo: Amit Dave/REUTERS

According to Reuters, more than a billion people are at risk of heat-related impacts in the region, scientists have warned, linking the early onset of an intense summer to climate change.

“For the first time in decades, Pakistan has gone from winter to summer without spring,” Rehman said.

Glaciers in the Himalayan, Hindu Kush and Karkoram ranges have rapidly melted, creating thousands of glacial lakes in northern Pakistan, of which about 30 are at risk of dangerous flash floods, the Climate Change Ministry said, adding that about 7 million of people are vulnerable.

Pakistanis try to cool off in a lake during a hot day — Photo: Akhtar Soomro/REUTERS

A senior scientist at India’s Meteorological Department said on Friday that hot conditions will persist for the next three days, but that temperatures will drop after the arrival of the monsoon, which is expected in some parts in May.

“We are seeing a lot of patients who have suffered from heat stroke or other heat-related problems,” said Mona Desai, former president of the Medical Association of Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat.

She said 60-70% of patients were school-aged complaining of vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, weakness and other symptoms.

Roads were deserted in Bhubaneshwar, in eastern India’s Odisha state, where schools were closed, while neighboring West Bengal brought summer school holidays forward by a few days.

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