Millions are facing record heatwaves in India and Pakistan. “It’s hard to get below 36° at night,” says Eline Caillaud, a French teacher in Jaipur, in Rajasthan, which she considers a “big heat island”. Franceinfo’s main witness on Tuesday, he pointed out that by 11.10 the temperature had already reached 39°C and at noon around 15.00 it could reach 45°C. This condition has been going on since last March, he said. This record heatwave caused power cuts and water shortages for millions of residents.
In order to continue to live well, Eline Caillaud considers herself “privilege”. Thanks to her job as a teacher, she can work “often indoors”. He’s hydrated a lot. “Here in Rajasthan, people drink a lot of sweet or salty milk-based drinks that keep them cool”. He “wear light clothing of course, made of cotton to cope with this unbearable temperature.”
This French woman who lives in India says the population has adapted. For example, the authorities decided to “close school in the afternoon” in Rajasthan, he testified. On the other hand, “life goes on, people keep working, there are street vendors, there are tuk-tuk drivers, no special changes even though it’s hot”she says.
This is an extraordinary situation that climatologist Robert Vautard, also Franceinfo’s lead witness, confirmed on Tuesday. Rememberthe beginning, duration and spatial extent of the phenomenon, the latter being “absolutely amazing”, assures the director of the Pierre Simon Laplace Institute of Climate Sciences. This shows that India experienced during this month of April the highest temperature ever known.
A simple weather phenomenon or a manifestation of climate change? “Both of them”replied Robert Vautard. “Global warming is slightly increasing extreme weather phenomena and in particular heat waves.” Could what happened in India today happen in France one day? “No, not in this form”said the climatologist. “We prefer to have a very strong peak”he said, however.