Middle East

Iraq announces mandatory official holiday due to heat wave

The Iraqi government has announced a mandatory official holiday due to a heat wave.

Wednesday’s late night statement calling for a Thursday holiday came from the Iraqi Cabinet as temperatures hit 50C. It is the first heat advisory issued by the government this summer.

The public holiday applies to all government workers.

The state-run Meteorological Department on Thursday warned that temperatures in much of the country would reach as high as 51C.

Temperatures reached 51C in Baghdad and as much as 53C in Basra last year, prompting the government to announce a two-day mandatory holiday.

The country typically faces brutal heat in the summers and endemic electricity outages make life even harder when temperatures soar.

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