Extreme heat affects millions across India and Pakistan |

Extremism The heat is affecting hundreds of millions of people in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, threatens to destroy entire ecosystems.

Working closely with health and disaster management agencies, and national hydrometeorological and meteorological agencies in both countries, the United Nations weather agency said: temperature health initiative, has been successful in saving lives over the past few years. declare.

Cascading effect

Extreme heat has many impacts not only on human health but also on ecosystems, agriculture, water and energy supplies and key sectors of the economy.

WMO repeat it commitment to “ensure that multi-risk early warning services reach the most vulnerable”.

Heat health action plans

Both India and Pakistan are successful Heat health early warning system and existing action plans, including those specifically tailored to urban areas.

They reduce heat mortality and lessen the social effects of extreme heat, including reduced productivity.

Important lessons have been learned from the past and these lessons are now being shared among all partners of the Global Heat Health Information Network co-funded by WMO, to build capacity in Hard-hit areas, WMO enhanced.

High temperature continues

The India Meteorological Department said maximum temperatures reached 43-46°C in large areas on April 28 and this intense heat wave will continue until May 2.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department said similar temperatures have also been witnessed in Pakistan, with daytime temperatures possibly between 5 °C and 8 °C above normal in large swaths of the country.

They also warn that in the mountainous regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa, abnormal heat levels will increase rapidly. melting icewith the potential to cause glacial lake floods – or flash floods in vulnerable areas.

Air quality has also deteriorated and large swathes of land are at risk of fire outbreaks.

Matching ‘climate change’

According to WMO, “it is too early to Extreme temperatures in India and Pakistan only due to climate change‘, however, the agency continued, ‘it is consistent with what we expect in a changing climate’.

Furthermore, heat waves are more frequent, more intense, and start earlier than before.

Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), in the recent Friday Assessment Report, also indicated that heat waves and heat stress will be more intense and frequent in South Asia this century.

The current heatwave was triggered by a high-pressure system and was followed by a period of prolonged above-average temperatures.

India recorded its warmest March on record, with an average maximum temperature of 33.1 ºC, 1.86 °C above the long-term average.

Pakistan also recorded its warmest March in at least the past 60 years, with several stations breaking March records.

During the pre-monsoon period, both India and Pakistan frequently experience excessively high temperatures, especially during May.

Action plan

India has established a national framework for heatwave action plans through the National Disaster Management Authority, which coordinates the network of state disaster response agencies and city leaders, to prepare for high temperatures and ensure that everyone is aware of heatwave protocols.

Ahmedabad in India was the first South Asian city to develop and implement a citywide heat health adaptation approach, in 2013, after experiencing a devastating heatwave in 2010. How to proceed This successful approach was later expanded to 23 states and served to protect more than 130 cities and districts.

In Sindh province, Pakistan, a mother tries to shield her four-year-old daughter from the scorching heat.

UNDP / Hira Hashmey

In Sindh province, Pakistan, a mother tries to shield her four-year-old daughter from the scorching heat.

Pakistan has also made strides in protecting public health from the heat. In the summer of 2015, a heatwave engulfed much of central and northwestern India and eastern Pakistan and was directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of deaths.

The event served as a wake-up call and led to the development and implementation of the Heat Action Plan in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan.

Typical plans ensure that targeted intervention is appropriate and designed for a city’s heat-vulnerable population.

First, it identifies the city’s hotspots, locates vulnerable populations in these areas, and assesses their nature and vulnerability to extreme temperatures. harsh.

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