Heat Wave in Middle East Breaking Records

This year is heading towards being one of the hottest on record and becoming dangerous along the way.

In May, a southern India heat wave, with temperatures of 113 degrees to 118 degrees Fahrenheit killed over 750 people during a period of just five weeks.

During June, a strong heat wave in Pakistan killed 1,200 people with temperatures reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now the Middle East is being hit with extreme heat as temperatures from the United Arab Emirates to Iraq have soared into the triple digits in a heat wave that is unprecedented for the region, said weather officials.

The region is susceptible to very high humidity that makes people feel hotter. In Bandar Mahshahr, Iran, it reached 109 F but that coupled with humidity made residents feel like the temperature was actually 154 F.

The Iraq heat was so overpowering that its government declared a mandatory holiday of four days starting this past Thursday to keep as many Iraqis inside as possible.

However, with more than 14 million of the population displaces due to conflicts across the majority of the country, couples with chronic water and power cuts, being able to cool down will not be an easy task.

Many refugees without homes or access to sufficient water are suffering from severe dehydration and sunburn.

The foreign minister of Kurdistan, an autonomous region in Iraq expressed great concern for the more than 1.8 million Iraqi and Syrian refugees who are currently in Kurdistan seeking shelter.

The minister said that Kurdistan appreciated the financial support from the U.S. for refugees but that the donations were not sufficient enough to meet all the needs of a refugee population that continues to grow.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change projected back in 2013 that areas of the world that are experiencing heat waves would increase by 50% in size before 2020 and would eventually quadruple before 2040.

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