LAHORE - Plains of the country, including Lahore, remained in the grip of severe heat on Tuesday with massive outages adding to woes of heat-stricken people.

Experts are seeing no relief from harsh weather conditions due to a lack of significant rains during the next 2-3 days.  In Lahore, mercury rose as high as 44 degree Celsius, making Tuesday the hottest day of current summer. Minimum temperature was recorded 28C.

Excessive use of air conditioners at offices and homes caused increase in demand of electricity that led to hours’ long loadshedding across the country. Enormous burden on transmission system caused frequent tripping. This also affected operation of Wasa tubewells that led to water shortage in parts of Lahore. People avoided unnecessarily coming out, reducing traffic on otherwise busy roads at noon and in the afternoon. The Lahore Canal, as usual, attracted a large number of people including women and children. Not only youth but also elderly people were seen bathing in the canal. At certain places even women were seen beating the heat by taking a dip in the mud coloured canal water.

According to the experts, shallow westerly wave is affecting upper parts of the country and likely to persist during next 24 hours.

The Met Office forecast mainly hot and dry weather for most parts of the country

Meanwhile, severe heat wave has caused alarming increase in weather related diseases, especially among elderly people and children. Experts have laid stress on precautionary measures to avoid getting summer related diseases. “Extremely hot weather has increased gastroenteritis, sunstroke, high grade fever and allergy. Excessive pollution is causing respiratory tract infection, cough and flu, and stomach upset,” said leading family physician Dr Abdul Rauf.

“Avoid unnecessarily going out especially at noon and in the afternoon. Wear light clothes, avoid physical exertion, direct exposure to sunlight, cover head while going out and consume more water,” he suggested.