KARACHI: The meteorological department released an alert on Wednesday according to which the prevailing severe heatwave over central and upper Sindh areas will grip the whole province on Thursday (today) and would last till May 16-17.

The daytime maximum temperature in Karachi is expected to rise to 38-40°C on May 13 and 14.

“Daytime maximum temperature would rise to 46-48°C in Dadu, Sukkur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Naushahro Feroze, Khairpur, Shikarpur and Ghotki districts,” the advisory said.

Daytime maximum temperature in Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Badin, Thatta, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts is likely to range between 43°C and 45°C.

“Very hot and dry conditions may cause stress on crops, vegetables and orchards and increase energy demand. Farmers are advised to manage their crops,” it added.

On Wednesday, the department recorded the maximum temperature in Jacobabad and Dadu (46.5°C), followed by Moenjodaro and Rohri (46°C), Mithi and Larkana (45.5°C), Padidan (45°C), Sukkur and Shaheed Benazirabad (44.5°C), Chhor (44°C), Hyderabad (43°C) and Badin (41.2°C).

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Management Aut­ho­rity (PDMA) has directed all departments concerned, including hospitals and public welfare organisations, to remain prepared for any emergency situation.

The authority directed electricity and water distribution utilities to ensure uninterrupted supplies especially to heatstroke centres, healthcare facilities and prisons.

In a press statement, the Pakistan Medical Associa­tion has also asked the general public to avoid direct sun exposure, particularly between 11am and 4pm.

“If you go out, cover your head with a cap or wet cloth. Children and old people should be more careful during heatwave as they can suffer more due to low immunity levels. Keep yourself well-hydrated and eat light fresh home-cooked meals. Always use boiled water,” a PMA statement stated.

The association also requested public and private organisations to establish drinking water and first-aid stalls at public places and road sides, while urging the general public to avoid wastage of water.

Power loadshedding persists

There has been no respite in frequent hours long loadshedding in almost every part of the city as the K-Electric said that the rise in temperature was causing surge in power demand.

KE’s director communications and spokesperson Imran Rana said that the current heatwave conditions across the country were causing a surge in electricity demand.

“While K-Electric is undertaking all possible measures to manage the current situation, the company may have to undertake load management in some areas to bridge the gap between demand and supply, for which inconvenience is sincerely regretted,” he added.

However, the spokesman said, the utility was proactively communicating updates to customers via SMS, and also uploading the area wise loadshedding schedule on the KE website for a ready reference.

“KE remains available to support customers around the clock via its call center 118, SMS service 8119, KE Live App, social media platforms, and KE WhatsApp Self-Service portal,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2022

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