Not long ago, Sarah Khan, headmaster of a school for disadvantaged girls in Jacobabad, southern Pakistan, watched with vigilance as some students passed out from the heat. At some point in May, it was the hottest in the world.
Now, after heavy monsoon rains have submerged much of the country, her classrooms are flooded, leaving many of her 200 students homeless, struggling to find enough food, and leaving injured relatives. taking care of
Such short-term extreme weather events have wreaked havoc across the country, killing hundreds of people, dividing communities, destroying homes and infrastructure, and raising concerns over health and food security. increase.
Jacobabad was not spared. In May, temperatures soared above 50 degrees Celsius, drying up the canal floor and causing some residents to die of heat stroke. Flooding has receded from its peak today, but parts of the city are submerged.
In Khan’s neighborhood in the eastern part of the city, houses are badly damaged. On Thursday, she said she heard screams from her neighbor’s house when her roof collapsed in water damage and her 9-year-old son died.
Many of her students have already lost class time during the brutal summer heat wave and are unlikely to return to school for months.
“Jacobabad is the hottest city in the world. There are so many challenges. Before the heat stroke people were homeless and[in the floods]almost everyone was homeless,” she told Reuters. told to
In a city of about 200,000 people, 19 people, including children, have been confirmed dead in the floods, but local hospitals say many more are sick or injured, according to the city’s deputy commissioner. reported.
More than 40,000 people live in temporary shelters, mostly in overcrowded schools, with limited access to food. One of the displaced, her 40-year-old Durbibi, sat under a tent on the school grounds and recalled the moment she fled when water flooded her home late last week. .
“I grabbed my children and ran out barefoot,” she said, adding that the only thing they had time to take was a copy of the Qur’an.
After four days, she was unable to obtain medicine for her daughter who was suffering from fever.
“I have nothing but these children. All my belongings were washed away,” she said.
The level of turmoil in Jacobabad, where many people live in poverty, illustrates some of the challenges extreme weather events linked to climate change can create.
“A sign of climate change is the more frequent and more intense occurrence of extreme weather events, which is exactly what has been witnessed in the last few months not only in Jacobabad but elsewhere in the world.” COMSATS, Islamabad Climate research and development at universities.
A study earlier this year by the World Weather Attribution group, an international team of scientists, found that the heat waves that hit Pakistan in March and April are 30 times more likely due to climate change.
Climate scientist Liz Stephens at the University of Reading, UK, said global warming likely exacerbated the recent floods. This is because the warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, which is eventually released in the form of heavy rain.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the country, which relies heavily on agriculture, was reeling.
“If you’re a farmer in Jacobabad, you couldn’t plant your crops because of the lack of water and the heat from the heatwave, and now your crops are being damaged by monsoons and floods,” he told Reuters in an interview. rice field.
In Jacobabad, the local health, education and development officer said record temperatures followed by unusually heavy rains have strained critical services.
The hospital, which set up an emergency heat stroke response center in May, has reported an influx of people injured in the floods and patients suffering from gastroenteritis and skin conditions amidst unsanitary conditions.
The Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences (JIMS) said it had treated about 70 people for injuries from flood debris, including deep cuts and broken bones, in recent days.
More than 800 children were admitted to JIMS with conditions of gastroenteritis in the month of heavy rains in August, compared with 380 the previous month, according to hospital data.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/723589/From-furnace-to-flood-the-world-s-hottest-city-is- World’s hottest city submerges