by Murad Abdo
ADEN, Yemen, May 25 (Xinhua) -- In the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, a scorching heat wave and prolonged electricity outages have plunged its citizens into a struggle for survival.
With temperatures soaring above a blistering 43 degrees Celsius, and power cuts extending to 4-5 hours, many families seek respite from the stifling heat by retreating to the beaches during the hottest time of the day.
"The heat is unbearable," said Mohamed Hussein, a father of three children. "We can't stay in our homes. So we spend most of the day outside, but the heat follows us everywhere."
Aden's local power stations have long grappled with meeting the surging demand for electricity during the summertime. The inadequate maintenance and repairs of the aging power infrastructure have exacerbated the problem, with long hours of power cuts and sporadic intervals of only 1 to 2 hours of continuous electricity supply.
The impact of the power outages also extends to businesses, which have suffered significant losses as shops and restaurants are unable to operate without a steady supply of electricity.
To cope with the situation, some businesses in Aden have resorted to using power generators, leading to increases in commodity prices to cover the additional costs.
This price hike further burdened the citizens of Aden, who are already struggling with the economic challenges caused by the years-long military conflict. Many employees have not received their salaries from the government for months due to Yemen's ongoing conflict and economic crisis.
"We are completely at the mercy of the weather. When it's cold, we get frostbite. When it's hot, there is nothing we can do but sweat," lamented Ahmed Obady, an Aden resident. He added that for most residents living in abject poverty, "the only choice is to endure."
Yemen has been mired in a deadly military conflict since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognized government out of the capital Sanaa.
The conflict has brought the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of collapse, leading to the displacement of millions of people who were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in overcrowded and unsanitary camps.
The United Nations has previously declared the situation in Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with over 20 million people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance.