Deadly heatwave shows no signs of easing as death toll climbs to 237 in Karachi
KARACHI: As a deadly heatwave continues to sweep Karachi and other parts of Sindh, the death toll has risen to over 237 in just two days.
With temperatures as high as 42 degrees Celsius on Sunday, Karachi saw hundreds of deaths in the space of just 48 hours. The severe heat wave has also left dozens hospitalised for heat exhaustion and heatstroke, crippling routine life and work in the country’s financial hub.
Hospitals are reported to be overcrowded and all hospitals have declared a state of emergency across all wards. Dozens who were brought to private and public hospitals complained of dehydration and low blood pressure.
The hospital management at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) confirmed that 55 people had died with heat related symptoms, of which 20 persons died during treatment.
With blistering triple-digit temperatures continuing to play havoc across the country, many were left confined to their homes on Sunday– the longest day of the year– and many experts termed this year as one of the hottest summers.
Elderly patients have been most affected by the heat, being brought to the hospital with high-grade fever and dehydration. Public and private hospitals have received many patients complaining of dehydration, low blood pressure, gastro-intestinal issues and fever.
More than 150 bodies were brought to the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth over the weekend and the number continues to rise.
“The number has gone up in two days,” said Anwar-e-Kazmi, a spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation, adding that families couldn’t keep the bodies for a longer period because of the heat.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast the pre-monsoon season to start on June 25, however, Karachi may not receive more than moderate showers.
The intense heat is also set to continue as the weather is expected to change by late night on June 24.
Further, data revealed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on June 16 showed that global temperature in the first five months of 2015 have been the hottest ever recorded, with May pushing the mercury to the highest.