ISLAMABAD, June 9: The mercury in the twin cites of Rawalpindi and Islamabad continues to rise, adversely affecting the residents, but relief in the form of cool winds and light rains is being expected by Tuesday.
The current heatwave has been triggered by the lack of humidity in the air, and has been aggravated by the prolonged electricity loadshedding, forcing residents of the area to remain indoors.
The Met Office on Sunday recorded the maximum temperature at 43 degree Celsius in Rawalpindi and 42 degree Celsius in Islamabad, and predicted that the current heatwave would remain for the next 48 hours.
“Before Friday, the humidity in the air was around 51 percent but it dropped to 32 percent on Friday and has remained so on Saturday and Sunday,” said an official at the Met Office.
“Thus the air remains hot and dry during the day which increases the temperature at night as well,” he said, adding that the lack of moisture in the air prevented the ground from cooling down even at night.
On Saturday, the minimum temperature in Islamabad was around 20degrees Celsius, but it increased to 24 degrees Celsius on Sunday, and a large number of people were seen on the streets till late night.
However, during the day, thin traffic flow was observed at the main roads and bus stops. Business activity remained minimal in the main markets and bazaars, as people preferred to remain indoors and avoid the sizzling heat.
“This is a very bad weekend; houses feel like ovens as the air is hot and there is no electricity,” said Zahid Hussain, a resident of G-9 Islamabad.
Doctors have urged the public to take precautions against the heatwave. They have advised against direct exposure to the sun, and have asked to ensure maximum intake of water to prevent dehydration.
An official at the met office said there no respite could be seen for the next two days, and temperatures would remain high.
“Although monsoon has started in certain regions of the Indian Ocean and dense cloud formations can be seen over Maldives, Sri Lanka and South East India, dusty hot winds continue to dominate the plains of Northern India and Pakistan,” he said.
However, traces of winds moving eastwards have been noticed by the met office, which are likely to reach Kashmir by Tuesday or Wednesday.
“These winds are cool and would bring precipitation but not heavy rains. The heavy rains will occur during the monsoon, but for that people will have to wait for another four weeks,” the official added.