Karachi sizzles at 41.7°C amid prolonged power cuts

Published May 17, 2022
Volunteers pour water on people to keep them cool (left); a thirsty crow drinks water from a hose in Frere Hall lawns in the prevailing hot and dry weather in the metropolis on Monday.— AFP / Fahim Siddiqi / Shakil Adil / White Star
Volunteers pour water on people to keep them cool (left); a thirsty crow drinks water from a hose in Frere Hall lawns in the prevailing hot and dry weather in the metropolis on Monday.— AFP / Fahim Siddiqi / Shakil Adil / White Star

KARACHI: The hot weather returned on Monday when mercury crossed over 40 degree Celsius after just a day break on Sunday when the maximum temperature was recorded at 36.5°C amid searing desert winds as the Met office warned that the “heatwave is likely to become severe again” from Wednesday (tomorrow) across Sindh where the sun could bake some districts at 50°C.

The K-Electric continued to carry out hours-long loadshedding in almost every part of the city amid the ongoing heatwave causing immense problems and hardship to residents.

On Monday, the weather remained hot and dry when maximum temperature was recorded at 41.7 °C. However, unlike the past few days, the humidity level — the amount of moisture in the air — remained very low at 26 per cent, which did not increase feel-like reading of the weather.

The Met office says the trend is likely to continue for the next couple of days and the situation could further worsen in a few districts of Sindh.

In a fresh “heatwave alert” on Monday, the Met office hinted at “severity” of the weather conditions.

“Heatwave is likely to become severe again from May 18 onwards,” said the alert.

“The daytime maximum temperature may rise to 48-50ºC in Dadu, Jacobabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Khairpur, Nawabshah, Shikarpur, Qambar Shahdadkot & Ghotki districts while 44-46ºC in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar and Tharparkar districts. Thatta and Badin may experience 40-42ºC. Karachi weather to remain hot & humid with maximum temperature 38-40ºC on Tuesday,” it said.

The fast changing weather conditions have also set alarm bells ringing in the power corridors. On Monday, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman announced a National Task Force in line with the orders of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to stir disaster management efforts to tackle severe heatwave and GLOF (glacial lake outburst flood) events.

Centre to ask KE to end loadshedding

The Sindh government on Monday sought assistance and intervention of the federal government in resolution of electricity crisis in the entire province, particularly in Karachi.

Informed sources told Dawn that Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh contacted Federal Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir regarding the ongoing energy and power crisis in Karachi, and apprised him about the power outages during the current sweltering weather.

They said the provincial energy minister urged the federal minister to take up the issue of frequent hours-long loadshedding in Karachi with the KE and direct the power utility to maintain uninterrupted power supply to the citizens.

The sources said Mr Shaikh told the federal minister that 15-18 hours of loadshedding in Karachi by the KE was beyond comprehension despite receiving additional electricity from the federation. “Announced and unannounced loadshedding has made the people’s lives miserable,” he deplored.

The sources said Federal Minister Khurram Dastagir assured Imtiaz Shaikh that the KE would be strictly asked to ensure no loadshedding in Karachi.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022

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