Pakistanis are enduring a relentless, lethal heat wave that is stretching into its third week. And this is said to be just the beginning. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Friday predicted another spell of extremely hot weather during next week, advising the general public to avoid unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight and to use water judiciously.
The sweltering weather has reportedly killed 65 people in Pakistan, though the true number of casualties is likely much higher. Even birds are getting heat stroke. The heat wave has had critical knock-on effects. Surging electricity demand and stress on the power grid triggered power outages . Outages in Pakistan have lasted up to 12 hours, cutting off power when people need cooling the most. Without electricity, many households have lost access to water.
India and Pakistan are no strangers to extreme temperatures, but the current heat wave stands out for its early-season timing, its rapid onset, its extent, and its severity.
Here’s how to prevent yourself from heatwaves:
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water—even if you’re not thirsty. Hot weather causes you to sweat, and it’s vital to replenish the lost fluids or you’ll overheat. Have a water bottle within reach as you go about your day to avoid dehydration.
- Never leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles—even for a second. Keep your pets indoors and make sure they have access to a cool space and plenty of water.
- Stay inside during the hottest part of the day and limit time outside in the Sun. Avoid strenuous activity and postpone outdoor games and events. When you’re in the outdoors, make sure you stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Wear a hat or even carry an umbrella. Wear sunscreen!
- Wear light, loose-fitting, airy, light-colored clothing and a hat made of breathable material. Tight clothing traps heat.
- If you feel overheated, cool off with wet washcloths on your wrists and neck or take a cool sponge bath or shower. Carry a cold water bottle spray or cooling facial mist with you, and spritz cold water on your pressure points to bring your body temperature down.
We hope these tips are helpful and if so, do let your family and friends know. Make sure to protect yourself and your family from the killer heatwave this year.