Iraq: Baghdad struggles to cope with heat wave amid power cuts

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Regular power outages in Baghdad have made the unusual heat even harder to cope with for residents, who have been forced to change their work schedules ahead of what is expected to be an especially scorching summer.

Footage shot on Monday shows Iraqis taking refuge in open vans and in the shade of cold drink stands to get away from June’s average temperatures of 48 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) instead of the usual 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

“It’s very hard to do my job in the open under the sun, the heat is really harsh, we can’t bear it,” says Qais Saad, a resident of Baghdad. “We wake up at dawn and work for four hours, that’s all we can do to deal with the heat.”

Most residents reportedly get up to 12 hours of state-provided electricity per day, with some paying for generators to keep the power running, preventing food from going bad in their fridges. However hospitals in Dhi Qar province, south of Baghdad, report up to 17 power cuts per day.

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