Punjab Govt closes schools due to impending heatwave

The Government of Punjab has announced the closure of all public and private schools across the province from May 25 to May 31 in response to an impending severe heatwave. The decision aims to protect the health and safety of students as temperatures are expected to rise significantly in the coming days.

The Meteorological Department had issued a warning last Thursday, forecasting severe heatwave conditions across most parts of the country, including Punjab and Sindh. The advisory indicated that high-pressure systems in the upper atmosphere would result in extreme temperatures starting from May 21, with the most intense heat expected between May 23 and 27. The forecast also included the likelihood of dust storms, thunderstorms, and heavy rains in northern areas.

In light of this advisory, the Punjab government decided to take proactive measures by closing schools for a week. However, according to a notification issued by the provincial government, examinations will proceed as scheduled with necessary precautions in place to ensure student safety.

This decision follows an earlier directive by the Punjab government, which reduced school timings from May 18 to May 31. School administrators were also instructed to ensure that all fans were operational, water coolers were available, and no students were exposed to open spaces or school lawns during the peak summer period.

The announcement comes shortly after the Sindh government decided to postpone matriculation exams from May 21 to 27 due to the heatwave alert issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). According to a notification from Sindh, the rescheduled exams will now take place from May 28 to May 31.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has provided a revised forecast, indicating that temperatures across Sindh will be 2-8°C higher than usual, depending on the area. Karachi, in particular, is expected to experience temperatures ranging from 35°C to 38°C over the next three days. The advisory also noted that regions such as Dadu, Larkana, and Shaheed Benazirabad could see temperatures soar up to 8°C above normal levels.

Shaheed Benazirabad recorded a maximum temperature of 48.5°C on Saturday, the highest in Sindh over the weekend. In anticipation of the extreme weather, the provincial government held a high-level meeting on Friday to assess the situation and develop strategies to mitigate the heatwave’s impact. Health experts at the meeting emphasised the importance of ensuring the availability of clean water, gas, and electricity to help the public cope with the extreme heat.

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