Heatwave Alert: Karachi Set to Experience Hottest Week of 2024

As the summer season intensifies, Karachi, the bustling metropolis of Pakistan, is preparing to face what could potentially be the hottest week of 2024. Weather expert and meteorologist, Owais Hyder, has predicted that the heat intensity in the city is likely to increase next week.

The mercury is expected to hover between 40 to 42 degrees Celsius from Tuesday to Thursday. This prediction comes as the city has been grappling with a heatwave for the past few weeks, which is forecasted to continue until the first week of June.

The extreme heat in Karachi is often accompanied by power supply deficits, with some areas experiencing up to 15 hours a day of load shedding. This exacerbates the discomfort for the city’s residents, who are already struggling with the sweltering temperatures.

Pakistan is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events, which scientists have linked to climate change. The impending heatwave in Karachi is a stark reminder of this growing threat. As the city braces for the hottest week of the year, authorities at both the federal and provincial levels have taken precautions to protect people from the deadly consequences of heat-related illnesses.

Heatstroke is considered the most extreme form of heat-related illness, with mortality rates ranging from 10% to 80%. It is defined as a body temperature higher than 40.6 degrees Celsius due to environmental heat exposure, which can cause a person to collapse. Studies reveal that heatstroke can be avoided by adopting simple preventive measures, but if there is a delay in treatment, the mortality rate can be as high as 80%.

The National Disaster Management Authority and other provincial authorities have issued a heatwave advisory for the general public, asking individuals to take immediate necessary measures. The advisory stated that infants, elderly persons, athletes, and outdoor workers are at high risk for heatstroke.

Symptoms of heatstroke include profuse sweating or the absence of sweating with hot red or flushed dry skin, weakness, lethargy, chills, throbbing headache, high body temperature, hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, and slurred speech. If one is having any of these symptoms, they should immediately be taken to the nearest healthcare facility.

To prevent heatstroke, the advisory has shared some common preventive measures. These include staying indoors during peak heat hours, wearing light-colored and loose-fitting clothes, drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding strenuous activities, and taking cool showers.

As Karachi gears up to face the hottest week of 2024, it is crucial for its residents to heed these warnings and take the necessary precautions. The city’s resilience will be tested in the coming days, but with collective effort and awareness, it can weather this heatwave.

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