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Punjab Braces for Intense Heatwaves as Temperatures Soar

Intense Heatwaves

With temperatures already hitting the dreaded 45-degree mark in various parts of Punjab, the looming threat of three anticipated heatwaves over the next four weeks poses significant challenges to human and animal endurance, as well as the administrative planning of provincial authorities.

Shahid Abbas, the chief meteorologist stationed in Lahore, warns of a further rise in temperatures by six to eight degrees Celsius in the coming days, bringing them closer to record-breaking levels.

This prolonged heatwave, expected to persist until mid-June with repeated spikes, particularly affects cities like Faisalabad and Sahiwal, where temperatures have already soared.

While shorter hot spells are common, longer ones could pose substantial difficulties. The Meteorological Office has alerted relevant departments, urging them to take necessary measures to mitigate the heatwave’s impact.

Despite assurances from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) about arrangements to tackle the hot weather, ground reports suggest a different reality.

Farmers are concerned about potential damage to early-sown cotton crops due to excessive heat, while maize and rice cultivation may require additional irrigation.

In the midst of these challenges, there are some silver linings. Pests, weakened by the extreme heat, are less likely to damage crops like cotton.

Additionally, the faster melting of glaciers in the country’s north has led to increased water flow in rivers, alleviating water shortages in Punjab.

Bahawalpur, one of the worst-hit districts, experienced deserted roads and closed markets due to the scorching weather. Attendance at Friday prayers was thin, with many fearing heatstroke, especially among the elderly and children.

In Rahim Yar Khan, concerns arise over the impact of rising temperatures on cotton and mango orchards, prompting agricultural authorities to advise vigilant irrigation practices.

Despite these challenges, inhabitants of Cholistan, including shepherds and nomadic tribes, have temporarily relocated their herds to villages along canals in search of water until the rainy season begins in late July.

As Punjab braces for the impending heatwaves, concerted efforts are underway to mitigate their impact and ensure the well-being of residents and agricultural interests.

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