According to climate change experts, a record heat wave has hit India and Pakistan, causing power cuts and water shortages for millions of people.
The temperature in Delhi on Thursday was close to 46 degrees Celsius. “This Friday, April 29th, the thermometer may be near 50 degrees in some areas,” explains Alban Alvarez, our correspondent in New Delhi. Authorities have issued a warning and advised vulnerable people to avoid going outside.
The Indian Meteorological Department said the extreme heat wave will continue for another five days in northwestern and central India and into the east till the weekend.
Tara Singh, 65, who has been running a small street shop in Delhi since 1978, said, “This is the first time we have seen such heat in April.” “The betel I use to sell the pan (chewing tobacco, editor’s note) spoils faster than usual. It usually happens in May, at the peak of summer.”
India’s northwestern Rajasthan, western Gujarat and southern Andhra Pradesh have imposed power cuts on factories to reduce consumption. According to press reports, large power plants are facing a shortage of coal.
In many parts of the country, with a population of 1.4 billion, water shortages worsen only during the annual monsoon season in June and July. In March, Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 40.1 degrees, the hottest month on record since 1946.
The worst has not yet come
Heat waves have killed more than 6,500 people in India since 2010. Scientists say they occur more frequently due to climate change, but are more severe.
“Climate change “It is raising temperatures in India,” said Dr Mariam Zachariah, of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. “We can expect it now. High temperatures once every four years,” he warns.
Dr Friederike Otto, a colleague and climate science lecturer at the Grantham Institute, said, “Until the end of net greenhouse gas emissions, heat waves will continue to be hot and dangerous in India and elsewhere. The greenhouse effect.”
“Temperatures are rising rapidly across the country and rising much earlier than usual,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, the day after a fire broke out on the 60-meter-high Palswa Garbage Hill in north Delhi.
On Thursday, according to a fire official in the capital, firefighters were battling the blaze, whose dense smoke was accompanied by air pollution, hoping to bring it under control by Friday. Three huge fires have erupted in a month at the largest garbage dump in the capital, Ghazipur, which is a huge mountain of 65 meters high rubbish.
The megalopolis, home to more than 20 million people, lacks the modern infrastructure to process the 12,000 tons of waste it produces daily. According to Pradeep Kandelwal, former head of the Delhi Waste Management Department, all these fires may have been caused by the extreme temperatures that accelerate the decomposition of organic waste.
Pakistan was also affected
Neighboring Pakistan also experienced extreme heat on Thursday, which is expected to continue into next week. Temperatures are expected to be 8 degrees above normal in some parts of the country, with the Pakistan Meteorological Association forecasting 48 degrees in rural Sindh on Wednesday.
Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, employs 40% of the total workforce. In this country, farmers need to manage their water supply wisely. “The country’s public health and agriculture will face serious threats from extreme temperatures this year,” Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said.
March is the hottest month on record since 1961, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
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