JACOBABAD: At one point in May, Jacobabad was the hottest city in the world. At the time, Sara Khan, the head of a school for underprivileged girls in Jacobabad, watched in panic as some children dropped out from the heat.
Her classrooms are now flooded, many of the 200 pupils are homeless, and many are taking care of wounded family members after monsoon rains swamped significant portions of the nation.
In such a short period of time, major weather disasters have wreaked devastation across the nation, killing dozens of people, isolating communities, destroying houses and infrastructure, and raising questions about food and health security.
Not even Jacobabad has been spared. When the temperature exceeded 50 degrees Celsius in May, the canal beds dried out and some locals passed out from heatstroke. Even while flooding has subsided from its height, portions of the city are still under water today.
Homes in Khan’s neighbourhood to the east side of the city have suffered significant damage. She said that she heard cries coming from a neighbor’s home on Thursday when their nine-year-old boy was killed after their roof fell due to water damage.
Given that they previously missed class due to the terrible summer heat wave, many of her kids won’t be returning to school for several months.
“Before, people suffered from heatstroke; now, they have lost their houses and nearly everything [to the flood] and they are homeless.”
Over 40,000 people are housed in temporary shelters, the majority of which are crammed into overcrowded classrooms with no access to food.
Another of the homeless, 40-year-old Dur Bibi, remembered the moment she escaped when water burst into her residence overnight late last week while she sat beneath a tent on the grounds of a school.
The first and only resource they had time to carry together was a copy of the Koran, she added, adding, “I gathered my children and dashed out of the home with bare feet.”
She still hasn’t been able to get her daughter’s feverish daughter any medication four days later.
“Apart from these kids, I have nothing. Everything in my house has been carried away, she claimed. The degree of interruption in Jacobabad exemplifies some of the difficulties that climate change-related extreme weather events might bring about.
According To Athar Hussain
According to Athar Hussain, director of the Centre for Global temperature Study and Development at COMSATS University in Islamabad, “a symptom of environmental issues is the more frequent and severe occurrence of extreme precipitation events, and this is essentially what we have had seen in Jacobabad as well as somewhere else then globally even during the last few months.”
In a research conducted earlier this year, an international team of experts known as the World Weather Attribution committee discovered that climate change increased the likelihood of the heatwave that affected Pakistan in March and April by 30 times.
Local health, education, and development authorities in Jacobabad said that the demand on essential services was caused by high temperatures followed by abnormally heavy rainfall.
Hospitals that established emergency heat exhaustion response units in May are now experiencing an increase in flood-related injuries, gastrointestinal cases, and skin issues among unclean patients.
The Jacobabad Institution of Medical Sciences (JIMS) said that it has recently treated about 70 patients for fractures and serious wounds caused by flood debris.
In August during the severe rains, more than 800 children were hospitalised to JIMS for gastroenteritis-related disorders, up from 380 the month prior, according to hospital records.
Jacobabad’s Meteorology Office’s chief officer, Rizwan Shaikh, noted a maximum temp of 51 degrees Celsius in May. He is currently monitoring persistently heavy rain and notices with anxiety that there are still two weeks left in the monsoon season.
Every location is in a really stressful position, he said.
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