Karachi sizzles as mercury shoots up

Heatwave likely to persist for another day as Cyclone Tautke looms in Arabian Sea

Our Correspondent May 18, 2021
A volunteer of Eidhi Foundation pours water on the head of a bus driver to prevent him from suffering heatstroke on a road in Karachi on Monday. PHOTO: PPI


Karachi was gripped by heat wave on its second day as the effects of suspension of winds as a result of Tauktae Cyclone in the Arabian Sea remained more intense on Monday.

According to Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the mercury shot up to 43.5 degrees Celsius at its highest on Monday. The lowest temperature was recorded at 32.5 degrees in the morning which exceeded 39 degrees Celsius only by 11am.

The traffic was lesser on roads due to excessively hot weather as the people preferred to stay home to stay safe from the intensity of hot winds.

Sale of cold drinks and sherbets soared with the rising mercury and people gulped down local delights like sugarcane, falsa and watermelon juice to ward off the effects of heatwave, it was observed during survey of commercial areas of the city.

Read more: Cyclone Tauktae to not make landfall on Pakistan's coastal belt: Met dept

The district administration and the health experts have advised people to stay indoors, avoid outdoor activities, and consume lots of liquids.

Besides the local government, and police, philanthropist organisations, many people set up water points to assist road users in searing heat.

Though the temperature was seriously high, the humidity level remained 19% due to which the city did not witness situation like heat waves during the previous years. Sunday night was recorded to be the second hottest night since May 2015, during which the temperature shot up to 32.5 degrees. The hottest day in Karachi for May was on May 9, 1938.

PMD Spokesperson and Director Sardar Sarfaraz said that the sea winds that have been suspended since Sunday morning will restore only partially on Wednesday after another 36-hours of suspension. He said that the winds will be fully restored later, with which the temperature is expected to gradually fall.

He said that the situation of heat wave has created due to the Tauktae Cyclone, which will end with the restoration of sea winds after the cyclone hits Indian coast and transfer of its remaining portion.

According to Sarfaraz, the PDM issues heat wave alert on the basis of three basic reasons. These reasons include increase in temperature up to 40 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days, suspension of sea winds for three or more days and increase in humidity level up to 60%, said Sardar.

He said that the temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius during the current situation but the humidity level remained 19%.

An eighth alert was issued by PMD's Tropical Cyclone Centre on Monday, according to which the Tauktae Cyclone has further intensified during the last 12 hours. The cyclone is spinning at a speed of 200-220km per hour in the Arabian Sea and it is present at a distance of 730km from Karachi or less than road distance to Multan.

The alert stated that Tauktae will pass near Indian Gujrat on Tuesday morning but none of the coastal areas of Pakistan are under its threat. However, Thatta, Badin, Tharparkar and Umarkot may witness heavy or moderate downpour with thunderstorm in its effect.

The weather in Karachi may remain hot or extremely hot expectedly with hot dusty winds, the alert read.

The medical experts advise the citizens to keep themselves safe from the intensity of weather by takin precautionary measures and avoid getting out in the sun.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2021.


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