Climate change caused 26 extra days of extreme heat in last year — report

Climate change caused 26 extra days of extreme heat in last year — report
Men ride on a motorbike as they cover their heads with a wet cloth to cool off and to avoid sunlight, during a hot summer day, as the heatwave continues in Jacobabad, Pakistan on May 26, 2024. (REUTERS)
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Updated 28 May 2024
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Climate change caused 26 extra days of extreme heat in last year — report

Climate change caused 26 extra days of extreme heat in last year — report
  • In total, 76 extreme heatwaves were registered in 90 countries on every continent except Antarctica
  • Already this year, extreme heatwaves have afflicted swathes of the globe from Mexico to Pakistan

PARIS: The world experienced an average of 26 more days of extreme heat over the last 12 months that would probably not have occurred without climate change, a report said on Tuesday.

Heat is the leading cause of climate-related death and the report further points to the role of global warming in increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather around the world.

For this study, scientists used the years 1991 to 2020 to determine what temperatures counted as within the top 10 percent for each country over that period.

Next, they looked at the 12 months to May 15, 2024, to establish how many days over that period experienced temperatures within — or beyond — the previous range.

Then, using peer-reviewed methods, they examined the influence of climate change on each of these excessively hot days.

They concluded that “human-caused climate change added — on average, across all places in the world — 26 more days of extreme heat than there would have been without it.”

The report was published by the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center, the World Weather Attribution scientific network and the nonprofit research organization Climate Central.

2023 was the hottest year on record, according to the European Union’s climate monitor, Copernicus.

Already this year, extreme heatwaves have afflicted swathes of the globe from Mexico to Pakistan.

The report said that in the last 12 months some 6.3 billion people — roughly 80 percent of the global population — experienced at least 31 days of what is classed as extreme heat.

In total, 76 extreme heatwaves were registered in 90 different countries on every continent except Antarctica.

Five of the most affected nations were in Latin America.

The report said that without the influence of climate change, Suriname would have recorded an estimated 24 extreme heat days instead of 182; Ecuador 10 not 180; Guyana 33 not 174, El Salvador 15 not 163; and Panama 12 not 149.

“(Extreme heat) is known to have killed tens of thousands of people over the last 12 months but the real number is likely in the hundreds of thousands or even millions,” the Red Cross said in a statement.

“Flooding and hurricanes may capture the headlines but the impacts of extreme heat are equally deadly,” said Jagan Chapagain, secretary general of the International Federation of the Red Cross.


So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants

So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants
Updated 19 sec ago
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So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants

So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants
  • One boat with 51 survivors, 10 bodies was intercepted about 90km south of the island of Lampedusa, Italy
  • Another was spotted about 200 kilometers east of the southern Italian region of Calabria, rescuers said

ROME: Saving migrants from one of the shipwrecks that have left dozens dead or missing off Italy’s shores involved walking through bodies to find barely alive survivors, the NGO captain involved in one of the rescues said on Tuesday.
One boat with 51 survivors and 10 bodies was intercepted about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of the island of Lampedusa, while another was spotted about 200 kilometers east of the southern Italian region of Calabria.
Eleven survivors from the second shipwreck and the body of a woman were taken ashore on Monday, and aid groups said 64 people, including 26 children, were unaccounted for. The Italian coast guard recovered three more bodies at sea on Tuesday.
Captain Ingo Werth of German aid group RESQSHIP, which operates the “Nadir” boat, led the first rescue in the early hours of Monday, picking up the 51 survivors from a “totally overcrowded wooden boat,” he told Reuters.
Before leaving, his team inspected the lower deck and found what seemed to be about a dozen bodies. A medical officer then said, “There’s a guy who’s breathing, he makes some noise, I hear some noise.”
Wearing gas masks, crew members went below to pick up the man and take him to safety. Another survivor was found in a second inspection, but getting him out was more complicated for the captain and a nurse who went with him.
“The (migrants’) boat was almost capsizing and so it was a potential grave (for rescuers),” said Werth.
The captain and the nurse left the hold with the bodies to return above deck, and managed to save the man below by pulling him through a hole made above his head using an axe and a hammer.
“There was that much life left in both of them,” Werth said about the survivors, using a hand gesture to signify they were close to death. He said the body temperature on one was below 32 degrees.
The pair has been airlifted to a hospital in Palermo and are recovering, he added.
The two shipwrecks have confirmed the central Mediterranean’s reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes. According to UN data, more than 23,500 migrants have died or gone missing in its waters since 2014.
According to RESQSHIP, the migrants picked up south of Lampedusa had set off from the Libyan port of Zuwarah and spent two days at sea. They told rescuers half of the passengers were from Bangladesh, with others from Pakistan, Syria and Egypt.
The migrants from the other shipwreck off Calabria set sail from Turkiye, spent eight days at sea, and came from Iran, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to statements from UN agencies and the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity.
Survivors are “very confused” and don’t know “who among their relatives is alive or dead at sea. Entire families have been destroyed. Some have lost a wife, a child, a husband, a friend or a grandchild,” MSF staffer Cecilia Momi said.


4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
Updated 9 min 54 sec ago
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4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
  • Tremors were felt in Peshawar, Swat, Malakand, Dir and other areas at 4:17am
  • However, no loss of life or property was reported in the wake of the earthquake

ISLAMABAD: A 4.7 magnitude earthquake jolted the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and parts of the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistani state media reported on Wednesday.
Tremors were felt in various areas, including Peshawar, Swat, Malakand, North Waziristan, Parachinar, Lower Dir, Hangu, Charsadda and Swabi, at around 4:17am Pakistan time.
“The center of earthquake was region of South-East Afghanistan and depth was 98 kilometers,” the state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported, citing the National Seismic Monitoring Center in Islamabad.
However, no loss of life or property was reported in its wake.
Earlier this month, an earthquake of 3.2 magnitude jolted parts of the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Its epicenter lied 15 kilometers northeast of the city at a depth of 22 kilometers, according to the National Seismic Monitoring Center.


Festivities continue as Pakistanis mark Eid Al-Adha for third and final day

Festivities continue as Pakistanis mark Eid Al-Adha for third and final day
Updated 14 min 2 sec ago
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Festivities continue as Pakistanis mark Eid Al-Adha for third and final day

Festivities continue as Pakistanis mark Eid Al-Adha for third and final day
  • People continue to visit relatives to convey Eid greetings and share elaborate meals
  • Recreational spots and beaches witness rush as Pakistanis celebrate final day of Eid

ISLAMABAD: People in Pakistan and other countries on Wednesday continued sacrificing animals and taking part in festivities as they marked the third day and final of Eid Al-Adha. 
Muslims celebrate three-day Eid Al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, by slaughtering animals such as cattle and goats and sharing their meat among family and friends and the poor. It commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God’s command.
In Pakistan, Eid Al-Adha, one of the two most important festivals on the Islamic calendar, began on Monday with special prayers for the well-being of the Muslim world, particularly Palestine and Kashmir.
On Wednesday, Pakistanis continued to visit each other to exchange Eid greetings and share elaborate meals to celebrate the joyous occasion, the state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported.
“The distribution of meat also continues among each other particularly to deserving people,” the report read.
“Picnic and recreational spots are observing unusual rush due to children.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed Eid greetings to countrymen and several other leaders of the Muslim world on Eid Al-Adha as his government announced a three-day holiday on the joyous occasion.
Over six million animals valued at approximately Rs531 billion ($1.9 billion) were sacrificed during the three-day Eid festival in 2023, according to tanners association.
As many, if not more, animals are expected to be sacrificed this year.


Small businesses boom ahead of Eid Al-Adha, invigorating local commerce

Small businesses boom ahead of Eid Al-Adha, invigorating local commerce
Updated 19 June 2024
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Small businesses boom ahead of Eid Al-Adha, invigorating local commerce

Small businesses boom ahead of Eid Al-Adha, invigorating local commerce
  • Allied businesses like animal fodder, knives and wooden blocks thrive in weeks before Eid
  • Boom in Eid side businesses also creates seasonal employment opportunities in Pakistan

KARACHI: While Eid Al-Adha generates billions of rupees through the sale and purchase of sacrificial animals, allied businesses like animal fodder sellers and knife makers also thrive in Pakistan, traders said, underscoring the religious festival’s impact on livelihoods and local commerce.
Last year Pakistanis sacrificed over six million animals worth around Rs531 billion ($1.9 billion) over Eid, according to the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA).
“Eid offers employment opportunities to thousands of people across the city,” said Syed Amjad Ali, an animal feed seller who had set up his stall in the Burns Road area of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and commercial hub.
Indeed, a variety of animal feeds go up on sale at stalls around the city, ranging from bales of hay to more nutrient-rich feeds, while the prices of animal fodder typically increase in the run-up to Eid due to high demand. Sellers capitalize on the opportunity to earn additional income while it is also convenient for members of the public to find things like feed, knives and wooden blocks at makeshift stalls set up in their neighborhoods rather than traveling far to purchase them.
“It is easier for people living in the neighborhood, even a child can come and buy the feed,” said Ali, who set up his stall two weeks before Eid. ” In this area there will be about 8-10 stalls and 6-8 people are working at each stall.”
Another business that thrives ahead of Eid is that of butchering tools, most importantly knives and cleavers. Retailers report a “significant boost” in sales before the holiday, when markets and shops across Pakistan stock up on knife varieties. 
“We have been doing this for 50 years, since my grandfather’s time. Every year, when the moon of Bakra Eid (Dhul-Hijjah) is sighted, we set up this stall to facilitate consumers,” said seller Muhammad Sarfraz, whose customers include families as well as amateur and professional butchers. 
Sarfraz also sells related materials like skewers, grills, stands and various types of pans. 
Sales of wooden blocks on which butchers cut up meat after slaughtering the animals also see a boom ahead of Eid.
“People come to buy wooden meat cutting blocks from our saw machine,” vendor Paras Khan said, adding that his business picked up pace two months before Eid. 
Meanwhile, the boom in Eid side businesses also creates seasonal employment opportunities.
“This is the system of Allah,” Muhammad Siddique, a resident of Karachi’s Saddar area, said as he bought feed for his two cows, “where livelihood is created for many people including transporters, feed sellers, and decorative material sellers for animals.”
“I have bought two goats and have come to buy ropes for them,” said Yousaf Gul Ahmed, a young child standing at a stall. “I have bought two good goats.”


‘Important to show respect,’ says Pakistan pacer Rauf after spat with fan 

‘Important to show respect,’ says Pakistan pacer Rauf after spat with fan 
Updated 19 June 2024
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‘Important to show respect,’ says Pakistan pacer Rauf after spat with fan 

‘Important to show respect,’ says Pakistan pacer Rauf after spat with fan 
  • Video of Rauf charging angrily at a fan in the US goes viral on social media 
  • Pakistan Cricket Board chairman warns of legal action if fan doesn’t apologize

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani pacer Haris Rauf urged fans to respect cricketers and their families after a video of his spat with a fan went viral on social media, days after Pakistan failed to qualify for the second round of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. 

In a video that has gone viral on social media, Rauf can be seen talking to a few people as he stands with his wife somewhere in the United States. One of the men uses an expletive against Rauf at which the fast bowler can be seen rushing across a hedge toward the group as one of the men tries to stop him. 

The video appears to be shot in the United States. Pakistan’s last group-stage match at the T20 World Cup being held in the USA and West Indies was played in Lauderhill against Ireland. The green shirts won the fixture narrowly but were unable to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the tournament, having lost to minnows US and arch-rivals India earlier this month. 

Pakistan’s poor performance in the megaevent has enraged cricket fans and commentators alike. Many of them have called on skipper Babar Azam to resign and urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to probe the national team’s hapless performance in the tournament. 

“As public figures, we are open to receiving all kinds of feedback from the public. They are entitled to support or criticize us,” Rauf wrote on social media platform X. 

“Nevertheless, when it comes to my parent and my family, I will not hesitate to respond accordingly. It is important to show respect toward people and their families, irrespective of their professions.”

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi took to social media to address the “appalling” incident, warning that such acts would not be tolerated. 

“Those who are involved must immediately apologize to Haris Rauf, failing which we will pursue legal action against the individual responsible,” he wrote on X. 

Compared to other Pakistani pacers, Rauf fared better in the T20 World Cup. The fiery pacer, known for clocking above 150 km/h on pitches that favor bounce and speed, grabbed seven wickets in four bowling innings, at an economy rate of 6.73.