KARACHI: Daytime temperatures in Karachi are likely to remain between 40˚ Celsius and 43˚C during the next five to six days, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
The department warned the authorities in Karachi to ensure adequate supply of power and water during the month of Ramazan so citizens do not suffer unduly. It has advised residents of the port city to take precautionary measures during this expected heatwave.
Regional Meteorological Centre, Karachi Director Shahid Abbas told The Express Tribune that the change in wind direction and reduction of sea breeze will result in the temperature exceeding 40˚C.
He added that the phenomenon of north-western air of Quetta gets warmer while passing from the plains of Balochistan and Sindh and raises the temperature in Karachi.
According to him, the lack of wind and drop in humidity will increase the heat intensity between 11am and 4pm. However, evenings in Karachi will not be affected due to low humidity levels.
The maximum temperature on Friday was recorded at 38.5˚C.
To add to the miseries of people the K-Electric on the second consecutive day of Ramazan, continued load-shedding in several areas in the city. Apart from load-shedding, several hours of power outages were experienced due to electrical faults. Some residents also suffered from outages during sehri and iftari.
Power outages continued during Thursday’s Taraweeh, leaving worshippers and residents in the darkness. This continued on Friday as well.
In some areas of the city, two hours of load-shedding is being carried out after every two hours and in areas that were declared load-shedding exempt, power is being suspended three to four times a day. On Thursday night, power remained suspended in most parts of the city for eight to 10 hours.
However, residents in Defence, Clifton, PECHS and Gulistan-e-Jauhar said there was regular power supply in their areas during sehri and iftari and load-shedding was conducted for only a handful of hours. Residents of other areas such as North Nazimabad said power outages had increased but there was power during sehri and iftari times.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has also directed all the departments concerned to take precautionary measures during the heatwave. He telephoned the health secretary and city’s commissioner to convey these directives.
Shah directed officials to ensure the availability of staff and medicines to tackle the heatwave-related emergencies at all hospitals in Karachi. The deputy commissioners of all six districts of Karachi division as well as the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and district municipal corporations have also been directed to make appropriate arrangements.
A resident of Shah Faisal Colony, Abdul Ahad told The Express Tribune that their area which used to face only three hours of load-shedding is now facing a power outage of six hours and sometimes even more.
“We heard that K-Electric will not be doing load-shedding during sehri and iftari. To some extent they are right as during the first two days of Ramazan, the power went out for just five minutes before sehri and iftar,” he said. “We are expecting some relief from K-E during Ramazan.”
Another resident of Malir Saudabad, Muhammad Ahsan, said that they are facing two-and-a-half hours of load-shedding three times a day other than outages due to faults. “They respond to faults really quickly and fix it within 30 minutes but the extended load-shedding has made our lives miserable. I hope it gets better before the heatwave hits the city,” he said.
Meanwhile, K-E has been claiming that it is committed to providing maximum relief to its customers during the holy month of Ramazan.
“All possible efforts will be made to exempt residential customers from load-shedding during sehri and iftari. Moreover, our teams continue to be available 24 hours and will remain particularly vigilant during sehri and iftari to resolve local faults,” said the K-E spokesperson.
“Residential customers will be given priority during sehri and iftari whereas industrial areas will experience load-shedding of up to six hours during the night to ensure that maximum relief is provided to residential customers during Ramazan,” he added.
He said that that currently, K-E is experiencing a power shortfall due to which previously exempted residential areas are facing load-management of up to two hours, whereas routine load-shedding will be carried out in rest of the areas, as per their respective losses category.