Swathes of Pakistan smothering by intense heatwave
50-degree mercury to bake many Sindh cities: Met Office says intense heat to scorch country until May 17
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According to the Metrological office report, the heatwave will continue to scorch country till May 17. Apart from Sindh, many districts in Punjab too will be experiencing intense heat today with temperature as high as 48 degrees Celsius.
Many areas in South Punjab will be in the grip of extreme heat.
In Dera Ghazi Khan, the mercury level is expected to touch 48ºC and humidity has been recorded at 18%. There are no chances of rain today.
In Faisalabad, the maximum temperature will remain at 47ºC and Lahore will sizzle at 46ºC today.
However, in Islamabad, windstorm and light rain is expected in the evening or night.
Dust storms are also expected in Sargodha, Mianwali, Bhakkar, Layya, DG Khan and Multan later in the day.
Swathes of Pakistan have been smothered by high temperatures since late April, in extreme weather the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned is consistent with climate change.
"This year we have jumped from winter right into summer," said Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) chief forecaster Zaheer Ahmad Babar.
Pakistan has endured heightened heatwaves since 2015, he said, focused in upper Sindh province and southern Punjab province.
"The intensity is increasing, and the duration is increasing, and the frequency is increasing," Babar said.
Nationwide the PMD alerted temperatures were between 6C and 9C above normal, with the capital Islamabad, as well as provincial hubs Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
Punjab irrigation spokesman Adnan Hassan said the Indus river -- Pakistan's key waterway -- had shrunk by 65 per cent "due to a lack of rains and snow" this year.
Sheep have reportedly died from heatstroke and dehydration in the Cholistan Desert of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province which also serves as the national breadbasket.
"There is a real danger of a shortfall in food and crop supply this year in the country should the water shortage persist," Hassan said.
Reporters Adia Naz, Rozina Ali, Majid Kalasra, Ashir Ashfaq and Hashir Warraich