LAHORE - Lack of rains, absence of winds and abundance of sunshine caused considerable increase in the mercury level in plains of the country including Lahore on Saturday with high humidity making the weather muggy, causing people to sweat profusely throughout the day.

Frequent tripping and unscheduled loadshedding added to the woes of heat stricken people. Large scale power outages also caused severe shortage of water in urban areas including Lahore.

In the provincial capital, people preferred to stay indoors to avoid exposure to harsh weather conditions, reducing traffic on otherwise busy roads at noon. People thronged Lahore Canal to get respite from the sultry weather. Not only youth but also elderly people were seen bathing in the canal. In certain areas even women were seen beating the heat by taking a dip in the mud coloured canal water.

Khanpur remained the hottest place in the country where mercury rose as high as 48 degree Celsius. Maximum temperature in Sibbi and Moenjodaro was recorded 47C, Larkana and Nokkundi 46C, Dalbandin, Dadu, Jaccobabad, Shaheed Benazirabad and Sukkur 45C.

Maximum and minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 39C and 28C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 45 per cent.

According to the experts, seasonal low lies over north Balochistan and adjoining areas with its trough extending eastwards. Penetration of moist currents in central and upper parts of the country is expected to increase from Sunday night.

Local meteorological department has forecast very hot and humid weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next couple of days. However, rain-thundershower is expected at isolated places in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Hazara divisions, Islamabad and Kashmir during Sunday (night).

Meanwhile, Punjab Health Department has put hospitals in the province on alert for treating gastro and dengue patients during monsoon. The department has directed medical superintendents of public sector hospitals to make necessary arrangements including availability of necessary medicine in the wake of possible increase in the number of gastro and dengue patients during the rainy season.