Heat wave hits Iranian provinces from west to east
A wave of scorching weather has hit several Iranian provinces, mostly in the south, where at least one city may have registered the highest temperature ever recorded in Asia.
The provinces of Ilam, Khuzestan, Hormozgan, Bushehr, and Sistan-and-Balochistan, located across a bow of territory bending to the south from western to eastern Iran, have been experiencing a heat wave since last week.
In Khuzestan and Ilam, temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius have been recorded.
The Iranian city of Ahvaz, the provincial capital of Khuzestan, has registered a temperature of 53 degrees Celsius at least twice over the past week.
According to a forecaster at the French meteorological agency MeteoFrance, Ahvaz recorded a temperature of 53.7 degrees Celsius — possibly the highest ever reading in mainland Asia — last Thursday.
Medical authorities said all hospitals and medical centers in some of the most severely affected provinces had been put on alert to assist patients potentially checking in with heatstroke.
Working hours at government organizations in some of the provinces were also cut short by at least one hour on a number of occasions due to the extreme temperatures.
The consumption of water and electricity has reportedly soared in the heat-struck provinces, some of which have also experienced dust storms, making it all the more difficult to go through daily activities amid the high temperatures.
The administration of President Hassan Rouhani has taken certain measures to tackle the dust and sand storms in particular.
On July 3, the Iranian Department of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly hosted officials from the United Nations and 31 countries as well as international experts in a conference to discuss means of countering dust and sand storms.