BAGHDAD, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi government on Tuesday declared a two-day holiday beginning Wednesday as temperatures set to soar above 50 degrees and people are advised to stay indoors during midday hours.
The declaration came after the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi held a regular weekly meeting for his cabinet, in which they discussed a report issued by the country's Meteorological and Seismic Board, a statement by Abadi's office said.
In a report on its website, the weather monitoring board said the heat wave will continue in central and southern parts of Iraq for the coming three days, including Friday which is originally part of the two-day weekend holiday (Friday and Saturday) in Iraq.
The Iraqi Health Ministry advised people to limit any outdoor activities for the duration of the heat wave and recommended them, in particular elderly and children, to drink plenty of fluids.
High summer temperatures are normal in Iraq, but widespread power and water cuts complicate everyday life when the temperatures soar.
The scorching weather also endangers the lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in camps across Iraq and increases their suffering after they fled their homes by the intense violence that engulfed their cities and towns since the IS took control of parts of its northern and western regions in June 2014. Enditem