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Iran is a country accustomed to heat waves, but an unprecedented heat wave has led to the government declaring a two-day holiday for government workers and banks across the country.

With temperatures soaring, the meteorological office warned that temperatures might rise even more. Some cities reached over 40 degrees Celsius and some cities in the southwestern parts reached almost 50 degrees Celsius.

The province of Sistan-Baluchistan in the southeastern part of the country has been hit among the hardest by the lingering heatwave.

Government spokesperson Ali Bahadori Jahromi said the public holidays are in the interest of public health.

“The cabinet agreed to the health ministry proposal to declare Wednesday and Thursday public holidays all over the country to protect public health.”

News24 reports that in June, Iran changed summer working hours for government employees who now start earlier, in order to save electricity in offices when temperatures peak.

As climate change increases, Iran is one of the countries hit the hardest. It has seen severe heatwaves and extreme dry spells over the last few years.

Image credit: The New York Times

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