India and Pakistan devastated by initial heatwave, exacerbated by regional humidity

South Asia is on fire. Intense heatwaves, such as the country has experienced regularly since 2010, have hit India, and the thermometer is panicking: temperatures of over 47°C have been recorded in cities in the states of Uttar Pradesh (north), Madhya Pradesh (centre) and Rajasthan (northwest). In India’s capital, New Delhi, temperatures rose to 48°C, a record for April. In neighboring Pakistan, in the city of Nawabshah (southeast), the temperature was not less than 49.5°C on Sunday 1uh can.

“Heatwave episodes will be more frequent and especially hotter”

And the worst could come: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts that the phenomenon will persist. The temperature can even “rises about 2°C over most of northwestern India, before descending”. When “over a billion people will experience overheating”wrote British meteorologist Scott Duncan in twitterNational records in India (51°C in 2016) and Pakistan (53.5°C in 2010) were broken.

There have been no human casualties at the height of this heat. But this extreme heat wave is killing: in April, May and June 2015, comparable episodes caused the deaths of 2,500 people in India and 1,100 in Pakistan, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Since 2010, a heatwave has killed more than 6,500 people in India, recalls AFP.

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Cheryl Tenny

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