Killer heat wave claims more than 200 lives in Pakistan

An intense heat wave killed more than 200 people in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, officials said, as the electricity grid crashed during the first days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The death toll during the ongoing heat wave in Karachi has soared to 250 as unprecedented intense summer continued to torment the metropolis and other cities of Sindh, ARY News reported.

A devastating heatwave gripping Sindh for several days has taken a toll of over 250 people.

Majority of the heatstroke patients were pronounced dead at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Temperature soared to 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) on Saturday and hovered at 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, coinciding with a surge of demand for power as families observed Ramadan, when people fast during daylight hours.

Nine deaths were reported from Thatta and Tharparkar in the interior of the Sindh province, health officials said.

“Five people died from dehydration and heat stroke in Thatta and four in Tharparkar yesterday,” a Sindh health ministry official said.

Rescue workers stand beside the bodies of victims who have died in a heatwave in Karachi. Photo: EPA
Rescue workers stand beside the bodies of victims who have died in a heatwave in Karachi. Photo: EPA

According to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) Medical Superintendent Dr Imran Samdani, seven people lost their lives this morning. The deaths are said to have occurred due to heat and gastro-related problems. Earlier, it was reported that 30 people had died in ASH on Saturday and Sunday. Twelve women and two children are among the dead.

Meanwhile, head of emergency department at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Seemin Jamali told Dawn that 50 people have died since late last night. Earlier, 85 people were said to have died at JPMC since late Saturday night.

Professor N Saeed Qureshi from Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) said that there have been six more deaths at the hospital this morning, taking the death toll at CHK to 35.

According to earlier reports, at least 132 had lost their lives due to the intense weather — most of whom were pronounced dead at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), officials had said.

Know more: Heatwave devastates Karachi, other parts of Sindh; at least 136 dead

Saturday was the hottest day of this year’s summer in Karachi, where the mercury had shot to 45 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature of 48 degree Celsius was recorded in three districts of Sindh — Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur — on Saturday, which slid down to 41 on Sunday.

The officials said the city would not see any let-up on Monday (today) when temperatures are expected to go up to 44 degree Celsius.

Earlier this month, 17 people died due to a heatstroke in Sehwan during the Urs of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.
Nawaz directs NDMA to start relief measures
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday expressed profound grief and sorrow over the deaths caused by the heatwave in Karachi and directed doctors and medics to provide the best medical care to those affected.

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