Islamabad, May 24: Thousands of heatstroke victims were being treated at hospitals across Pakistan on Friday as temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius amid a blazing heatwave, officials said.

The heat gripped the South Asian country for a fourth day and was likely to last for another week, government climate change chief Romina Alam said. The temperatures could touch 51 degrees on Saturday, the country’s chief metrologist Sardar Sarfraz said. Heatwave in India: Unrelenting Heat Disrupts Daily Life Into Arduous Task in Large Parts of Country.

In the southern province of Sindh, ambulances rushed people to hospitals and temporary heat relief camps in all major cities, local official Shah Zaman said. “We have treated thousands and more influx is coming in,” said doctor Tahir Farooq at a hospital in the city of Dadu, where the temperature hit 50.

“It is like living a literal hell. You feel like walking on burning coals as you step out in the sun,” said Zeeshan Khan Shani, a rickshaw driver in Dadu. “It is unbearable. I’m worried about my daughters. They can faint anytime,” said Asif Shakoor, a mother in the eastern city of Lahore. Heatwave Warning: Stifling Heat Crippling Large Parts of Northwest India To Continue for 5 More Days, Predicts IMD.

The Pakistani government last week ordered the temporary closure of schools, postponed exams, and declared emergencies at hospitals as the heatwave, the first of this summer, started.

Authorities said the temperatures were hovering up to eight degrees Celsius higher than their normal level at this time of the summer and cited climate change as the reason. Hundreds of people are killed in Pakistan every year in climate-induced disasters while thousands lose their habitat and livelihood in a country that contributes little to global carbon emissions.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 24, 2024 10:23 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website