Environment

Heatwave in Karachi claims at least 64 lives, Pakistan


Karachi, the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh, home to over 21 million people and the fourth most populous city proper in the world, is experiencing severe heatwave over the past couple of days, with temperatures rising up to 43 °C (109.4 °F) and no sea breeze to help. 

City authorities said at least 64 people died due to heatstroke and heat fatigues since Saturday evening, May 19, 2018. However, the number of casualties is probably much higher as the numbers came from only 2 of dozens of mortuaries across the city.

The ages of the deceased range from 16 to 78 and they include both men and women. The majority of them died at home as they were not shifted to hospital on time.

Moreover, due to the holy month of Ramzan, most of the people are fasting, while the situation has also worsened due to acute water shortage and prolonged power shutdowns.

Last week, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) issued an advisory saying that Karachi will be hit by heatwave from Saturday, May 19 and no sea breeze is expected.

“Hot to very hot weather is likely to prevail in Karachi during next 5 – 6 days and the maximum temperature is expected to remain in the range of 40 – 43 °C (104 -109.4 °F) during this period,” they said in an advisory.

In 2015, Karachi was hit by one of the world’s deadliest heatwaves that killed over 1 200 people and left around 40 000 with heatstroke and heat fatigues, however, independent sources said that the number of deaths was higher than the official count. 

According to Daily Times, Faisal Edhi, head of Edhi Foundation, estimated that there were more than 15 000 casualties in the city.

Featured image: Karachi by Aslam Shigri



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