LAHORE / KARACHI: At least six people died and five others were injured due to lightning strikes caused by windstorms and rain in various districts of Punjab which is currently grappling with two simultaneous challenges — storm damage recovery and an impending intense heatwave.

A spokesperson for the Pun­jab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said the lightning strikes occurred in Sialkot and Rawalpindi districts on Friday night and they were monitoring the situation, emphasising the need for swift medical assistance to the injured and financial support for the families of the deceased.

PDMA Director General Irfan Ali Kathia emphasised that responding to natural disasters requires a collaborative effort, and urged district administrations to remain vigilant and proactive. He also expressed his deep grief over the loss of human lives.

Punjab Chief Minister Mar­yam Nawaz Sharif expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives during the storm and extended heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families.

Sindh sizzles as heatwave prevails

Ensuring the best medical facilities for the injured remains a priority, especially in light of the lightning strikes and heavy rains, she added.

The chief minister directed the administration to launch effective relief operations in the affected areas. The PDMA has been instructed to prepare for potential further rains.

Sindh sizzles

The central and upper parts of Sindh remained in the grip of the ongoing heatwave on the fifth consecutive day on Saturday with mercury soaring to 48 degrees Celsius in at least eight cities.

The Met department recor­ded the maximum temperature of 49.5°C in Dadu and Moh­e­njodaro, followed by Jac­o­babad (49°C), Padidan and Shaheed Benazirabad (48°C), Sukkur, Rohri and Larkana (47.5°C), Khairpur (47.4°C), Sakrand (46.5°C), Mirpurkhas (43.5°C), Hyderabad (44°C), Badin (42.2°C), Thatta (37.5°C), Chhor (46°C), Mithi (45.5°C) and Tandojam (44.5°C).

Karachi experienced 37.2°C with 58 per cent humidity.

According to the department’s daily advisory, the daytime maximum temperature in upper and central parts of the province would remain 6-8°C and 4-6°C above normal, respe­c­tively, on Sunday (today).

In lower Sindh, the daytime maximum temperature would be 2-4°C above normal. In Karachi, however, it would be 2-3°C above normal.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the highest temperature of 45 degrees Celsius was recorded in Dera Ismail Khan, followed by Bannu (43°C) and Peshawar (41°C) during the last 24 hours.

Heatwave in Punjab

Punjab is bracing for a sev­ere heatwave as temperatures are expected to skyrocket to 45-48°C starting May 27, posing a significant threat to public health and safety.

South Punjab districts, including Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Multan, are particularly vulnerable to the intense heatwave.

According to APP, Bahawalpur has been facing extreme hot weather with maximum temperature recorded at 46°C during the last 24 hours. Hot and dry weather has also been forecast for the rest of the region.

The PDMA has issued high alert advisories to all relevant departments, directing them to be prepared for emergency situations. Additionally, authorities have established heatwave counters in hospitals throughout the region for swift assistance to those affected by the heatwave.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2024

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