Pakistan puts rescue services on high alert for unforeseen thaws due to heat wave


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Pakistani authorities have put rescue services on high alert in the face of the threat of flash floods in the north of the country due to the rapid melting of its glaciers due to a wave of high temperatures.

“We have already alerted the disaster management authority and vulnerable communities,” Gilgit-Baltistan Province Environmental Protection Chief Shahzad Shigri said on Saturday.

Glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountain ranges – the Hindu Kush, the Himalayas and the Karakorum – are rapidly melting as rising temperatures have created more than 3,000 lakes in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khiber Pakhtunkhwa.

These thaws are sudden events to which it is practically impossible to respond in time, and they usually end in tragedy for both the population and their properties, especially the crops, essential for the subsistence of some remote communities that, however, comprise more than seven million people.

The former Minister for Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, recalled that Pakistan is currently in the midst of a devastating heat wave that has come much earlier than expected and recalls that the city of Dadu, in Sindh province, has This month of April has been the hottest in the world despite being in spring.

His successor in office, Sherry Rehman, has also warned that rainfall in 2022 has decreased by 62 percent compared to previous years.

According to the National Meteorological Office, the heat wave began on April 27 and will gradually decrease from May 2.

To get an idea of ​​the impact of heat waves in Pakistan, more than 2,000 people died in 2015 in Karachi alone due to a huge rise in temperatures during the month of Ramadan.

Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of global carbon emissions, but is among the 10 most climate vulnerable nations.

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