The country was in the middle of a tropical heat on Friday, with parts of the country devastated by temperatures of nearly 50 degrees Celsius as officials warned of water shortages and health threats.
The country’s waters have been covered by high temperatures since the end of April, with extreme weather the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned it to keep pace with climate change.
On Thursday, Jacobabad hit 49.5C (121 degrees Fahrenheit), the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said, and temperatures remained high until the end of the week.
“It’s like a blazing fire all around,” said worker Shafi Mohammad, from a village outside Jacobabad where residents are struggling to find reliable drinking water.
Nationwide, the PMD has warned temperatures between 6C and 9C above normal, with Islamabad – with provincial hubs of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar – recording temperatures around 40C on Friday.
“This year we have jumped from winter to summer,” said PMD president Zaheer Ahmad Babar.
Pakistan has endured high temperatures since 2015, he said, focusing on Sindh province in the north and Punjab province in the south.
“Depth increases, and time increases, and times increase,” he said AFP.
Jacobabad nurse Bashir Ahmed says that for the past six years, heatstroke cases in the city have been diagnosed early in the year – starting in May, rather than in June or July.
“This has just happened,” he said.
Punjab irrigation spokesman Adnan Hassan said the Indus River – Pakistan’s main waterway – was declining by 65 percent “due to a lack of rain and snow” this year.
Sheep have been reported to have died of heat and dehydration in the Punjab’s Afghanistan desert – the most populous province in Pakistan, which also serves as a national bread basket.
“There is a real risk of food and crop shortages this year in the country if water shortages continue,” said Hassan.
On Tuesday, climate minister Sherry Rehman warned residents in central Lahore to “protect the hottest hours”.
Heatwave has devastated India, with temperatures in Rajasthan areas hitting 48.1C on Thursday.
Pakistan – home to 220 million people – says it is responsible for less than 1 percent of its natural gas emissions. But it ranks eighth as a country most affected by extreme weather conditions, according to a 2021 study by the Germanwatch environmental group.
Extreme heat can cause catastrophic catastrophes for the poor Pakistani population.
The mountainous regions of the country are home to more than 7,000 glaciers, the largest number outside the area.
Melting glaciers can swell lakes, which in turn crack their walls and cause ice, rocks, and water to evaporate into what is known as glaciers.
Last weekend the main road bridge in the Gilgit-Baltistan region was swept away by floods caused by melting glaciers.
In April, officials warned that 33 lakes in Pakistan were in danger of being flooded with similar catastrophic floods.