Extreme heat hits Iraq, as temperatures exceed 50 degrees Celsius

Extreme temperatures and a lack of electrical power are a deadly combination, and one that is being felt across Iraq.

The country is one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change, faced with scorching heatwaves, reduced rainfall, water scarcity, and desertification.

On Wednesday, Baghdad recorded a high of 49˚C (120˚F) and in Basra temperatures went beyond 51˚C (123˚F); the hottest city in the world this week, according to the monitoring group Hot Cities.

The temperature across several Iraqi governorates including Maysan, Dhi Qar, Muthanna, Diwaniyah, and Najaf, in the southern part of the country also exceeded 50˚C (122˚F), according to the Iraqi Meteorological Organisation.

Iraq, with its population of about 43 million, is one of the hottest places on Earth. Matters are made worse as power shortages mean that people have to rely on generators to keep their cooling systems on during the heat.