Heatwave leaves another 63 killed in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Jun 11, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Scorching heat killed another 63 people on Saturday in Pakistan as the country remained in the grip of severe heatwave with mercury level touching record heights in a number of cities, newspapers said Monday.

In Lahore, the capital of east province Punjab, the maximum temperature remained at the record highest level, 48 degrees Celsius, on the second consecutive day on Sunday, according to The Nation newspaper.

Sibbi, a district in southwest province Baluchistan, remained the hottest place in the country where maximum temperature was recorded 51.6 C, said the newspaper.

In Jacobabad, a city in south city Sindh, the mercury level is gradually creeping toward record maximum value, where the maximum temperature on Sunday was recorded 50.5 C, a couple of degrees Celsius below ever-highest level, it said.

The entire North West Frontier Province and parts of Northern Areas and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir were also witnessing unprecedented rise in the mercury level for the last few days due to unusual dry conditions and absence of strong winds, with maximum temperatures ranging from 40 to 49 C.

Experts believe that unusually dry conditions, absence of strong winds, change in the wind direction after subsiding the cyclone in the Arabian Sea and absence of sharp contrast in the mercury level in the region are the causes of persistent heat wave in the country.

Meteorological department has forecast the same weather pattern during next couple of days.

Some 12 people died due to heatwave on June 9, earlier reports said.