Karachi: Summer has only just begun but most parts of Karachi have already started to bake, with sweltering temperatures up in the High 30’s ringing alarm bells for the worst which is unfortunately, yet to come.
The temperature in Karachi is expected to reach 4o° Celsius today (Thursday). Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has warned citizens to brace themselves for temperatures that are likely to be more than one degree Celsius above average.
However, no chance of heat wave is expected in the metropolis.
Three years ago, Karachi experienced the deadliest heatwave Pakistan had seen in over 50 years.
Starting June 19 that year, the coastal city witnessed sweltering heat that continued for more than five days and in its wake left over 1,200 people dead and 40,000 suffering from heatstroke and heat exhaustion.
According to PMD Director General (DG) Ghulam Rasul, heatwaves are going to be “persistent, intense and will go on for longer duration”.
Assistant Commissioner Karachi Dr Amber Mir ─ the focal person for heatwave management at the commissioner’s office ─ says: “Learning from our experiences in the 2015 heat wave, in 2016 we came up with an all-encompassing and effective plan. And as a result of the government’s and the divisional administration’s efforts, no heatwave-related casualties were reported either that year or the following year.”
Architect Yasmeen Lari also has an interesting idea: “If you cannot beat them, green them.”
According to Dr. Seemi Jamali, head of emergency at JPMC, children and pregnant women are at greater risk during high temperatures.
Here are some basic precautionary measures that one should implement.
Avoid making unnecessary outdoor trips during the day
Try staying under shades and shelters when outdoors
Keep yourself hydrated when outdoors
Wear loose-fitting and light coloured clothes.