The brutal heatwave in Pakistan’s financial hub Karachi has claimed over 640 lives in the last 72 hours. Sindh government has declared a state of emergency, announcing the closure of all educational institutions and government offices. The heatwave has been going on since Friday. With temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius, it has wrecked havoc across Sindh province.
Worst heatwave in decades
It is Pakistan’s worst heatwave in decades. More than 640 people have died in Karachi alone, with another dozens of deaths reported in other parts of Sindh province. On Monday, Jinnah Hospital said 255 people affected by heatwave lost their lives. Another 102 died in Abbasi Shaheed, 86 in Civil hospital, and 17 in Lyari General Hospital, reports ARY News. Dozens other died in Zia Uddin Hospital, Indus Hospital, and Liaqat National Hospital.
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Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Emergency Department In-charge Dr Seemin Jamali said more than 3,000 heatstroke patients have been treated so far. Hundreds of patients are still under treatment in various private and government hospitals across Karachi. Monday’s rains have brought little relief to the city suffering from extremely high temperatures.
Pre-monsoon winds to bring light rain in Karachi
Meanwhile, Edhi Mortuary said Monday night that they had absolutely no space to keep more bodies. The Mortuary in Sohrab Goth had received about 200 dead bodies from various parts of the city within 24 hours. Pakistan Rangers Sindh has set up ten Heatstroke Relief Centers in Karachi to help people. Doctors and paramedics equipped with necessary medical equipment are available at these centers to treat heatstroke patients.
The situation was made worse by prolonged power outages in many parts of the city. In some areas, there was no electricity for up to 20 hours. According to Pakistan Meteorological Office, Karachi and other cities in Sindh will likely receive rainfall today. Over the next 24 hours, the maximum temperature is expected to range between 38-40 degrees Celsius. Pre-monsoon winds are expected to enter Sindh and bring light rain.