Heatwave kills 90 in Karachi as residents grapple with power outages

Published: June 21, 2015
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Relatives mourn the death of a heatwave victim at the EDHI morgue in Karachi on June 21, 2015. PHOTO AFP

Relatives mourn the death of a heatwave victim at the EDHI morgue in Karachi on June 21, 2015. PHOTO AFP

KARACHI: A heatwave has killed at least 90 people in Karachi, officials said Sunday, as residents grapple with frequent power outages and water scarcity during Ramazan.

The city saw temperatures reach as high as 45 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, just short of an all-time high in the metropolis of 47 C in June 1979.

Dozens were brought to private and public hospitals with complaints of dehydration and low blood pressure.

According to hospital management of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), 55 people were reported dead with heat related symptoms. “Around 30 people were brought dead at JPMC,” says joint executive director of the medical facility Dr Seemin Jamali.

She said 20 persons died during treatment, adding that these people died due to heat stroke.

Another major facility, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital confirmed 20 people died due to heat stroke, including those who breathed their last on way to hospital.

Moreover, management of the Civil Hospital said, “Six persons were brought dead at hospital.” He added that all people died due to heat stroke.

Residents in Qayumabad converge at a water supply line to take some relief from the scorching heat. PHOTO PPI

According to sources, nine people died in parts of Lyari while at least two persons died in Keamari area.

Scores of people were referred to tertiary care hospitals from private hospitals. Most of them were brought to JPMC.

Pakistan’s Meteorological Department said temperatures would likely subside in the coming days, but doctors have advised avoiding exposure to the sun and wearing light cotton clothes.

The high temperatures were made worse by frequent power outages, sparking protests in several parts of the city of 20 million.

Electricity cuts in turn crippled Karachi’s water supply system, hampering the pumping of millions of gallons of water to consumers, the water utility said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has warned electric supply companies that he would not tolerate power outages during Ramazan, an official at the premier’s office said.

Karachi University in a statement said that it had postponed its exams for at least one month due to the extreme weather.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Mohammad Faizan Farooq
    Jun 22, 2015 - 12:23AM

    Its high time that Karachi folk ask their public representatives regarding their pathetic performance over the past 25 years. MQM and PPP have combined to deliver the most shambolic adminstration known to man and yet they are continuously voted into power. Karachi should look past ethnic bias. Lahore did it by establishing a Kashmiri at the helm of affairs and he proved a diamond during the regime of 1990-1993, yet he needs a kick in the rear as well due to enjoying continuous electoral victory in the province. TIME TO WAKE UP MY FELLOW COUNTRYMENRecommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 22, 2015 - 12:32AM

    These deathlike on the heads of our political rulers, past and present……..but who will hold them accountable ?Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Jun 22, 2015 - 2:09AM

    ….Jiye Bhutto, Jiye Muhajir, Jiye Altaf……
    aur marey Karachi…..Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jun 22, 2015 - 2:22AM

    Rangers have to take the blame here. They are running the defacto government, and eating up massive resources of the city. Why cantonments get minimal load shedding, while the rest of the country is in darkness.Recommend

  • Neutral
    Jun 22, 2015 - 3:00AM

    May Allah ease the plight of people . ! AmeenRecommend

  • ziaurrehman
    Jun 22, 2015 - 3:41AM

    I’m getting impressed by noon leaguey government with every passing day.. Recommend

  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Jun 22, 2015 - 5:54AM

    What kind of silly statement is this that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won’t tolerate power outages from Electric supply companies? This is absolutely ludicrous and in fact totally insane behaviour by the PM who instead of conceding that his government failed to add more power onto the grid is blaming the messenger. Recommend

  • Jun 22, 2015 - 6:26AM

    Our deepest sympathies for those who suffered the heat wave. Hope rain starts to cool down the place.Recommend

  • Shehryar
    Jun 22, 2015 - 6:49AM

    Power outages were going to end in 6 months… as it was said nearly 2 years back. Oh wait ! Recommend

  • Haris
    Jun 22, 2015 - 9:19AM

    The most horrible thing to note in this scenario is the discrimination by the K-Electric (and of course govt. officials) in choosing the areas for shedding the electricity load. Whatever the problem is the shortfall should be equal for the whole city as the supply company represents the whole city. But in this case the only affected areas are Lower and Middle Class Residential areas such as: Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, New Karachi, Nagan, Sakhi Hasan, Shadman, Orangi, Kharadar, Jauhar, FB Area – Gulshan Area is also not much affected, whereas Higher Income Areas such as Clifton, Defense, SMCHS, PECHS etc. are completely spared from this shortfall. … …. Why is this discrimination taking place in the time of crises. This is shamefully horrible and inhumane on part of K-Electric.Recommend

  • Marvi
    Jun 22, 2015 - 10:39AM

    People are suffering 15 hours of load shedding all over Sindh and KPK while all the electricity gets directed to big brother Punjab. With the heat wave taking so many lives, Punjab should give at least temporary relief to the affected cities. Stop stealing electricity that does not belong to you. Recommend

  • smbfhs
    Jun 22, 2015 - 11:22AM

    I was shocked to see majority of the labour and non-labour male public was wearing polyester-mix fabric clothes. They were sweating hard. I don’t know why they chose polyester, rayon and the like for their clothes and not cotton, which is the coolest and most breathing fabric. One reason could be the colors, softness, shine and sturdy in laundry. But they could use heavier cotton for work and lighter for casual suits. you must get a like color umbrella like other countries do, a water bottle to wet your face, years and back of neck for fast cooling. Also wait to finish day outings until weather cools down, if possible. Also, Cover your head with a wet handkerchief from boiling sun rays. Don’t walk unnecessarily in the sun but wait under a shade of tree etc.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jun 22, 2015 - 11:38AM

    We are a nation of dead people. We mourn/protest for every other thing in the world but our own misery. We are living in the state of denial. Our own people are dying cos of electricity shortage during extreme heatwave well that’s not a problem let’s go out and protest for Burma. No supply of water? uh ho we gotta go out on streets and burn theaters cos some lunatic insulted our Islam in some corner of the world. Our people being kidnapped/murdered by state police well that’s a non-issue the real issue is Palestine. Will we ever set our priorities straight and for once care for our own state of affair? Recommend

  • Jun 22, 2015 - 11:57AM

    Dipak@Zeeshan: you must thank Pakistani Military, Religion Twisting Mullahs and the Feudal for the StoneAge state you are in.Recommend

  • Jun 22, 2015 - 11:59AM

    Dipak@smbfhs: probably price is the reason.Recommend

  • Zee
    Jun 22, 2015 - 11:35PM

    I totally agree with zeeshan. Charity begins at home. The bigger picture is right here in our very own country. We have to fight the problems here before we expend energy on lamenting others’ woes. Recommend

  • NA
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:06AM

    @Haris:
    I hear the opposite . Friends and family from defence are complaining more about loadshedding then ppl from areas like Gulshan, Johar …Recommend

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