The forecast was similar in Pakistan, which has a lot of neighboring countries. Forecasters for Pakistan said this week that high pressure systems would likely keep temperatures above average through Monday.
Pakistan’s Meteorological Department also warned that in regions dotted with glaciers, the heat could lead to so-called outburst floods, in which water spills from glacial lakes into populated areas. An outburst flood that caused flooding in Uttarakhand, northern India, killed several thousand people and destroyed many villages.
In both countries, the forecasts cited only temperature, not the heat index — a measure that combines temperature and humidity and tends to give a more accurate portrait of what extreme weather feels like.
Fusaram Bishinoi, a doctor from Barmer, in the Barmer area Rajasthan that has recorded some of India’s highest temperatures this week, said he had seen a surge of patients arriving with heat-related illnesses in recent days. This includes heat stroke, he said. However, food-borne illnesses can also be caused by the heat, he added.
“We tell people not to venture out during the day and to drink more, and more water,” Dr. Bishnoi said.
‘Everything is ready to burn.’
Extreme heat is a problem in agriculture, which is a major source of income for hundreds and millions of people across the subcontinent. Wheat farmers in India have been complaining for weeks about the effects of high temperatures on their yields. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tilip garden was closed one week early in the spring because many bulbs had failed to flower before the annual, month-long exhibition.
The farmer, Mr. Bose from Rajasthan’s Barmer region, stated that 15 to 20 per cent of the local wheat crop as well as half of the cumin crop had been lost due to unseasonably warm weather and changes in wind direction. It doesn’t help that the current heat wave has made outdoor work more difficult, he said.
Source: NY Times