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Kuwait on a Hotplate | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqis dive into the Tigris River in the capital Baghdad on 20 July 2016 on the first day of a two-day official holiday that the Iraqi authorities announced due to a heat wave in the country. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Kuwait – Kuwait is on fire with the world record temperature and an expected similar temperature at the beginning of the week. The country maintained half the boiling point temperatures with high humidity which imposed an optional curfew.

Kuwaiti people are so fond of comedy they started making fun of the hot weather on social media and broadcasts. Kuwaitis even started posting funny videos mocking the temperature, while some Asian workers fried eggs under the sun. A video showed a number of Asians gathering around a large ice cube for cooling. In addition, comments all over the internet envied all the Kuwaitis who left the country for vacation.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations specialized agency, will set up a committee to examine whether a 54 degrees’ Celsius temperature recently recorded in Kuwait, has set the new highest temperature for Asia, as well as for the entire Eastern hemisphere. WMO’s Omar Baddour says it’s “likely” to be an eastern hemisphere record.

Until now the official record for the highest temperature was 56.7C (134.1F) on 10 July 1913 at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, California.

The heatwave prompted Kuwait National Assembly to extend the holiday three more days for all officials and public sector.

Kuwait PM commented on the holiday saying that four days of serious work would make up for the lost time. He added that the holiday would help reduce fumes and temperature from cars and thus help in bringing in tourists.

A number of countries saw new national temperature records, for instance, India saw a new national temperature record of 51°C in its state of Rajasthan in May. Iraq also witnessed high temperatures reaching up to 53 °C.

Governments issued guidelines and warnings for their citizens on dealing with the heat.

“The length, frequency and intensity of heatwaves will likely increase further during this century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” said WMO.

“The science of attribution is making it possible to analyze individual events and assess the role of climate change played, rather than natural variability,” it added.

Officials announced that the highest temperature recorded in Kuwait on Tuesday was 44°C and the lowest 30 °C. It is expected for the temperature to reach highest 47°C and lowest 30 °C on Wednesday.