The severe cold puts millions of people who are completely unprepared into trouble. Every winter, the northern part of Pakistan announces cold, icy temperatures, making the plains of the alpine region shudder. The cold experience in Pakistan at the end of the year is a normal experience. This time there was something extraordinary in the winter and the harsh cold.
Weather experts describe it as a strange phenomenon that has not been seen in the country in ten years-usually with dire effects on public health and the economy.
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But first is the feeling of a cold. When the temperature dropped below zero, several days had passed since the capital Islamabad. Generally, the average level should be around 7 or 8. The top of the mountain, which is less than a two-hour drive from the city, is two weeks from -8 o’clock, while the annual average of the corresponding months in previous years has always been 0 or 2 degrees lower.
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For example, on the mild eastern edge of the country, in the port city of Karachi, people are experiencing unprecedented weather tests. Although the altitude standard is acceptable, the temperature there is 6 to 7 degrees lower than the level in decades. All of this happens when the climate remains dry.
Ten days have passed since the last rain, and in another twenty days, no other talisman appeared on the horizon. This means that the cold wave surrounding the country will last a long time.
Experts from the Pakistan Meteorological Service define it as extended winter and severe winter.
This is not wisdom in hindsight. It was expected about a month ago, but he turned a deaf ear. No one takes her seriously. However, the weather forecast is not the main news of Pakistan. Considering the importance of weather to people’s lives, this is really surprising. As an agriculture-based economy, if there is something that the public needs to learn and appreciate or officials should keep in touch with it, this is the direction of the wind.
Moreover, some of the toughest test times facing the country are due to the weather. Floods and droughts go hand in hand with changes in rainfall patterns-affecting crop planting schedules and leading to production shortages that people take for granted.
This season may bring some challenges. The cold wave has begun to increase the burden on the health system coping with the Covid19 infection. A dry cough makes a normal cough abnormal and spreads lung diseases such as forest fires.
Children and the elderly suffer from serious health problems, and the poor in society can only pay for medical expenses by reducing food expenditure. Even the healthiest and wealthiest people are forced to indulge in meagre savings in order to buy new laying hens to protect themselves from the severe cold. Most personal transportation is done by motorcycles, which are family transportation for women and children.
The wind chill factor has exacerbated the suffering of the public, which has worsened since natural gas disappeared to consumers. Domestic regulations are facing huge disruptions because the cost of fuel is so high that even if the supply of natural gas is guaranteed in the most advantageous areas of the country, the cost of using the commodity is as high as the upper limit. The government faces the eternal dilemma of keeping factories running or reducing public anger over natural gas shortages. It is not easy to solve.
Currently, the country’s natural gas shortage has triggered a heated debate about whether the government has delayed preparations to receive LNG due to the loss of infrastructure capacity. However, the country has a bigger problem that extends beyond the controversial project.
Its energy structure relies heavily on natural gas, although the locally produced natural gas is not enough to meet its needs, and then the oil is imported again. When both become expensive or supply is interrupted, reliance on charcoal increases the impact on the environment.
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People have been trying to increase domestic natural gas supply by increasing domestic production and operating cross-regional pipelines. In either case, little progress has been made. As a result, this season is no different from the previous season in terms of deficiencies and accompanying issues. But the intensity of the cold wave adds a dirty new dimension to the long-term problem.
To say the least, the consequences of the cold wave are related to its impact on winter crops. As white frost covers the land in agricultural areas of the country, farmers sweat more to prevent the destruction of permanent crops. For the same consideration, they are waiting for time to plant new seeds.
They had no advice, and no news about the end of the ordeal, because the quartermaster was busy with other things. This winter, the Covid-19 outbreak was depressing enough. Its breadth and cruelty make the lives of those who are surprised even darker.
Since 2017, Saba Ghani has been the chief content writer for Pakistan Tour and Travel & EMHI Solutions. You can catch her at [email protected] or Twitter
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