Deadly heatwave shows no signs of easing as death toll climbs to 350 in Karachi

Published: June 22, 2015
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A Muslim man cools down with water at a mosque during a heatwave in Karachi on June 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

A Muslim man cools down with water at a mosque during a heatwave in Karachi on June 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: As a deadly heatwave continues to sweep Karachi and other parts of Sindh, the death toll has risen to over 350 in just two days.

With temperatures soaring 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.

A Muslim man cools down with water at a mosque during a heatwave in Karachi on June 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

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.

Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) was over crowded as over 700 patients with heat related incidents, including heat stroke, fever, gastro and dehydration have been admitted at JPMC’s emergency ward.

Read: Heatwave kills 90 in Karachi as residents grapple with power outages

“Around 140 persons have died according to our record,” said JPMC’s focal person Dr Javed Jamali, adding that majority of deceased were elderly citizens. Dr Jamali also informed that over 1,500 people have been brought to the hospital from different parts of the city.

PHOTO: ONLINE

Around 70 people died in different hospitals of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), including 64 at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. “Over 1,000 people have been brought with sun stroke related incidents to KMC’s hospitals,” said Dr Salma Kausar Ali, the senior director medical and health services. “The situation is very critical,” adding that a health advisory has been released.

A man carries a heatwave victim to a hospital in Karachi on June 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

More than 400 bodies were brought to the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth, claimed Edhi official.

Read: Heat wave: Under scorching sun, Pakistan swelters

“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.

PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

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.

People cool off in the sea during a heatwave in Karachi on June 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

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.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Marvi
    Jun 22, 2015 - 1:03PM

    This keeps getting worse and worse. On top of the blistering heat wave, people are also suffering 15 hours of load shedding all over Sindh and KPK while all their electricity gets directed to greedy 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 at least for a few days. After the heat wave is over, you can go back to having all the electricity you want. But at least for now have a heart Punjab and show some mercy toward other provinces too.Recommend

  • Iram
    Jun 22, 2015 - 1:06PM

    @Marvi: Though I am from Punjab but I second your thoughts.Recommend

  • Mrs Juicy Gossips
    Jun 22, 2015 - 1:22PM

    @ET: note incorrect spelling of sign (sing). Its hot enough as it is without these travesties of the English language !Recommend

  • Fahad
    Jun 22, 2015 - 1:35PM

    Bohtt garmi hai.. even the AC’s have failed due to low voltage.. Allah reham kare..Recommend

  • Brainer
    Jun 22, 2015 - 3:17PM

    @fawad why “Allah reham karay”? When the government is extremely corrupt and inhumane and many illiterates support them, so you want Allah to reham on the nation??Recommend

  • Zain
    Jun 22, 2015 - 3:22PM

    Because of the presence of the most sordid criminals of zardari

    and altaf gangs in Karachi this is God’s curse on Karachi.

    We need to eliminate these criminals

    for good.Recommend

  • Atheist_Pakisani
    Jun 22, 2015 - 3:52PM

    This Ramazan has to be deadlist ever. Ramazan already taken 300 lives and climbing!Recommend

  • I am a Khan
    Jun 22, 2015 - 4:35PM

    @Atheist_Pakisani:
    dont blame Ramadan. The situation has aggravated due to lack of electricity, clean water, etc. In india several hundred people died in the heatwave few weeks ago, were they also fasting?

    Furthermore Islam even allows the weak and ill/elderly people to feed the poor if they are unable to fast. Recommend

  • Juggernaut
    Jun 22, 2015 - 4:50PM

    Just out of curiosity I wanted to know the temp..Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 22, 2015 - 5:19PM

    That is 237 deaths on the heads of our political leaders PPP and PML-N …….. Who will hold them accountable for this gross misgovernance ? ……..sadly the answer is NOBODY.Recommend

  • Garmi say behal
    Jun 22, 2015 - 5:28PM

    well, this is the worst weather i have ever seen in my life in karachi.
    death tolls with weather are increasing,
    we cannot fight the nature, but we can actually try to cover it a little, ATLEAST the company who is paying the most to his directors should think for public rather than thinking how to make a good looking office environment, just look at the electric wires, these wires cannot even bear the heat load, these are old , KE is not even upgrading, they should have done this in december or january, they are just charging high bills and giving, if in any case we have light the voltage is soo low that nothing can work properly,
    we were out of light yesterday from 1 pm to 11pm.
    Iftari + taravi without light, this situation actually makes the people frustrated and every one gets angry, every thing is soo depressing here, we pray for rain, when it rains we face water on road and no light for DAYS. is this what we are paying taxes for,
    why dont we stand unite and make pages for this,why do KE use work hard too much on twitter and facebook replies instead of working hard to make electric possible, even if the electric is not coming from federal ministry , they can still make the available electricity better, i know many areas near to railway lines where every one is misusing electricity by Kunda system, why dont they go after them , spending alot on Tv commercials and billboards,

    this is what i think, i feel,.

    sindh govt. should declare a full 3 day holiday and emergency should be declared in the city,

    every Shopping Mall should be closed,. they are sinking more electricity,.

    atleast close it for 3 days, Recommend

  • SHKT
    Jun 22, 2015 - 6:12PM

    @Marvi:
    I’m not surprised to find the very first comment to be the same old rhetoric of Punjab being made the scapegoat. Electricity is a federated resource and is distributed according to the population, demand, and recovery. I had lived in KPK for 8 years, and know how many people steal electricity and don’t pay bills etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if its the same for Sindh. So instead of blaming a single province for all our vows, why not instead make the general populace educated and behaved enough to work for the greater good instead of being selfish and corrupt. Also, the Punjab province accounts for more than 48% of the resident population of Pakistan (before jumping to ethnic conclusions, these aren’t all ethnic Punjabis, but rather all people living in the provincial territory). Therefore, it is only logical that its demands would be higher as well compared to other provinces. I agree we need better electricity management, but that comes when all work together rather than pointing the blame- can you find “Punjabis” in KESC or PESCO etc., undermining the respective cities with extended power outages while somehow sending the surplus energy to Punjab via covert electricity grids?Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jun 22, 2015 - 8:03PM

    Please don’t blame Punjab but blame PPP that has ruled for 5 years and MQM which has ruled for over a decade. They have failed to add any electricity to the grid. People in Punjab are also suffering. Hopefully new government by the end of its term, if it can add even half of the amount that they intend to, then it would done more work that Musharraf and Zardari of Sindh combined despite following the country for 3 times as long. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 22, 2015 - 8:47PM

    This is called Karma, some of us laughed at Indians when they were dying during heat wave. Recommend

  • Aurangzeb
    Jun 22, 2015 - 8:48PM

    @SHKT: – Please do your math correctly, more than half of Punjab is living in Sind, KPK, Baluchistan and same time in Punjab as well so there is no proper documentation to account for even distribution of federated resource! Learn form west all resources owned by individual provinces/states and sold to other provinces/states, so If Punjab needed electricity buy it from KPK.Recommend

  • atheraziz
    Jun 22, 2015 - 10:48PM

    This problems is in all over the country even in ak.Recommend

  • ZAK
    Jun 22, 2015 - 11:04PM

    There are climate change. Lot of rains in north.

    Unexpected hot weather in Khi.Karaciites are not used to such weather.K Electric and KWSB have play their part adding to the miseries of Karachites.

    It looks Karachi is not part of Pakistan.No body even bother to condole deaths.Recommend

  • Muyawiah
    Jun 22, 2015 - 11:51PM

    @I am a Khan: But Muslims call Ramadan ” Rahmaton aur Barkaton ka Mahina” A month of Blessings and rewards. What would you say about that? Why God is killing people at the start of this month. A century ago there was no electricity, why you are blaming it on “lack of electricity?”Recommend

  • Asok
    Jun 23, 2015 - 3:17AM

    Stay safe.

    My understanding is that Ramzan fasting does not require one to go to the extent of damaging one’s health. If the heat really gets high, people should stay hydrated to the extent possible.Recommend

  • Mrs Juicy Gossips
    Jun 23, 2015 - 6:35AM

    @Marvi: No wonder; I am sure the Dengue Bros and Mr Zardari have got 50 backup generators apiece to endure the Dantesque inferno that Pakistan finds itself encased in. It easy to have a look of concern on one’s face and issue statements of “.. taking note.. “, and calling in the Minister of Water and Power for a proper grilling, when one
    is prancing around in ideal climate-control conditions.Recommend

  • pervaiz
    Jun 23, 2015 - 8:10PM

    @Aurangzeb:
    Please ask kpk govt to generate electricity by his own resources then I shall be the first one from punjab who will buy electricity from kpk. Present power producing unit had been installed by federation and he distribute electricity among provinces on demand and recovery basis. There is no free electricity in the world, so kpk needs to pay electricity bill if he wants to have.Recommend

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