Death toll from deadly heatwave crosses 700

Published: June 23, 2015
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A resident helps a heatstroke victim at a market area during a heatwave in Karachi on June 23, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

A resident helps a heatstroke victim at a market area during a heatwave in Karachi on June 23, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

A heatstroke victim being shifted to a hospital in Karachi on June 23, 2015. PHOTO: AFP A resident helps a heatstroke victim at a market area during a heatwave in Karachi on June 23, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The prevailing heatwave in Karachi has left over 700 people dead in last three days, as per latest figures available on Tuesday evening.

Earlier, medics battled to treat victims after a state of emergency was declared in hospitals.

In Karachi, the Met department forecasts maximum temperatures to reach as high as 43 degrees Celsius over the next 24 hours, with chances of rain-thundershower and dust storm during the evening and night.

An army doctor treating a heatstroke patient. PHOTO: INP

Eight to 10 people have also died in other parts of southern Sindh, senior provincial health official Sabir Memon told AFP earlier. “More than 450 people have died due to heat stroke in the past three days.”

Read: PM orders emergency measures as death toll exceeds 425

Semi Jamali, a doctor at Jinnah Hospital said they had treated about 3,000 patients suffering from heat stroke.

A man pouring water on his head in Karachi to beat the heat. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD AZEEM/EXPRESS

“More than 200 of them were either received dead or died in hospital,” Jamali told AFP. Another 67 people died in another hospital, the Civil Hospital, an official there said.

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

Edhi Welfare Organisation, said their two morgues in the city had received more than 400 corpses.

“More than 400 dead bodies have so far been received in our two mortuaries in past three days,” Edhi spokesperson Anwar Kazmi told AFP.

“The mortuaries have reached capacity.”

Men rest in the shade of trees during a heatwave in Karachi on June 23, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

In Karachi, electricity shortages crippled the water supply system, hampering the pumping of millions of gallons of water to consumers, the state-run water utility said.

Read: Energy management: PM Nawaz grills top bureaucrat over blackouts

Met Office said temperatures hit 43 Celsius in Karachi on Sunday and 49 Celsius in Turbat, close to the Iranian border.

Despite the increasing number of deaths being reported in the provincial capital, neither government officials nor any other organisation has made any arrangements for collecting and collating the data of the death toll.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued directives to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to immediately take necessary measures to deal with the prevalent situation in Sindh, where the tenacious heat wave continues to claim lives. The NDMA chairman has asked the Karachi corps commander to assist the authority in this regard.

Read: A helping hand: Rangers establish Heatstroke Relief Centres in Karachi

On the other hand, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Sindh has requested the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers to render all possible services and assistance to alleviate the suffering of the people.

People sleeping on the footpath in Karachi due to frequent power outages. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

However, residents of Karachi breathed a sigh of relief when their neighbourhoods received light showers on Monday afternoon.

Dark clouds descended on the entire city but did little to break the heat of the past few days. The light showers only managed to make the mercury drop from 41 degrees Celsius to 38 degrees. The areas that received some rain included North Karachi, Buffer Zone, New Karachi, Federal B Area and North Nazimabad, followed by Gulshan-e-Iqbal and PECHS by evening.

But there is hope. According to the director for the Institute of Meteorology and geophysics, Abdul Rashid, the city will have more rain in this week. “Rains will hit Karachi properly by Wednesday while light showers are expected on Tuesday,” he said.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Stranger
    Jun 23, 2015 - 1:25PM

    I say whats the govt doing on both sides of the Arabian sea. KArachi is burning and Mumbai is washing away . Provide free drinking water / shelters for sun for Karachi .. provide over night stay for commuters travlling back to home after work ( among other things ) for Mumabi. Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Jun 23, 2015 - 2:47PM

    A city that contributes so much to National exchequer is left with no water, no electricity and lack of public transport system. It is a shame that the Federal government only contributes 650MW electricity to this big city while the rest is provided by private company. Minister for electricity should feel some shame that people are being killed and he doesn’t take any responsibility and says there is no load shedding but its a case of recovery problem.Recommend

  • adnan
    Jun 23, 2015 - 4:10PM

    @Karachite
    The city contributes to the national exchequer because many companies have head offices here but the income is generated elsewhere in the country and only accounted in Karachi.
    The federal government takes out 650MW from the rest of the country and gives it to Karachi in addition to its own due share. It is upto K Electric to increase its electricity production. It is the only distribution company in the country that has the right granted to it to produce electricity. The only people that should feel shame is PPP and MQM and the people that vote for them. Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jun 23, 2015 - 5:21PM

    Don’t Fast, and keep yourself hydrated is the key to survive this sizzling heat.
    Nothing is more important than health.Recommend

  • Listner
    Jun 23, 2015 - 7:30PM

    This is not first time, Pakistan grappled with such severe heat. The problem is corruption. Country has very limited resources and if the politicians and bureaucrats take that limited resources through corruption nothing left for public. If someone checks details of these peoples they are among the poorest of society, who can’t buy water tanker or couldn’t afford proper food to handle such harsh weather. It is Government responsibility to provide clean drinking water, electricity, heath care, education, justice and security to each and every individual at affordable price. Causalities will continue due to one or the other reason but you will never see any name of mighty politician or his/her family member among these unfortunates . People of Pakistan should think to whom that are choosing their leader.Recommend

  • US CENTCOM
    Jun 23, 2015 - 7:46PM

    Very sad indeed! My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOMRecommend

  • Mumbaikar
    Jun 23, 2015 - 9:43PM

    @Stranger – I just got back from Mumbai yesterday and I can vouch for your comments. Mankind can destroy a whole city at the push of a button but it cant divert rain clouds from a place which doesn’t need rain to a place which desperately needs rain. The words of John Lennons “Imagine” come to mind … if there were no nations there would be no war so science could focus its attention on saving lives rather than destroying lives.Recommend

  • soothla
    Jun 23, 2015 - 11:46PM

    Very very sad ! our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those that have passed away.

    Thank you Edhi Welfare Organisation.Recommend

  • mohammed yaqub
    Jun 24, 2015 - 12:07AM

    corrupt gov to blame mqm and ppp give imran a chance to sort these evil people may god deal with these people in his way the only way pakistan can prosper is like iran revolution get rid of all corrupt people in powerRecommend

  • Jun 24, 2015 - 12:07AM

    I am so sorry. In my state alone in India 1200 or more cant remember how many died of heat wave. Those who died were daily wage earners, hawkers and vendors etc. The politicos will not do anything. Father’s day, yoga day, this day, that day and spend money on phoren travels. Fed up!Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Jun 24, 2015 - 12:09AM

    Maybe it’s time for Pakistan to consider reallocating it’s budget … nukes, cruise missiles, submarines etc don’t impress Taliban and take enormous resources. The rhetoric of “energy shortage” has always been nonsense – the World is drowning in energy/fuel you just don’t have the money to buy it.
    .
    You can bet money that the guys who make the budget decisions are sitting in air conditioned homes/offices while these people are dying – maybe that should change?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 24, 2015 - 12:18AM

    @adnan:
    Your hate for Karachi knows no bounds. Perhaps you should also join in feeling some shame for electing those running the Federal Government in Punjab!!Recommend

  • danish
    Jun 24, 2015 - 12:53AM

    @adnan:
    If only head offices exist , then how come people from all over Pakistan come to Karachi for Jobs? . Please don’t be so ignorant. Karachi deserves better. Punjabis messed up east Pakistan and they will mess up the rest of the Pakistan as well because they can never have enough to eat. Recommend

  • AmericanMuse
    Jun 24, 2015 - 1:10AM

    Fasting is suicidal!Recommend

  • Alter Ego
    Jun 24, 2015 - 5:40AM

    @Karachiite:
    Blame PPP and MQM for which you karachites vote with your eyes closed , dont blame everything on Punjab.Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2015 - 8:25AM

    @adnan: Most of the loan defaulters and tax dodgers are upcountry. Most of the business are here…manufacturing, retailing, services, trading, cheap labor, et al. Businesses move upcountry only to get away from terrorism, bhatta, and kidnapping. Whether you like it or not we have the advantage of coastline and education, which makes it cheaper and easier to transport cargo. The biggest disadvantage and barrier to Karachi’s progress is provincial bias, PPP and PMLN (muk muka) and the indifference towards Urdu speaking citizens. So my dear, hold onto your horses next time. Ramadan Mubarak. Salams Recommend

  • Anon
    Jun 24, 2015 - 9:22AM

    Very sad situation… but there are good news also to compensate this… China has blocked India’s move demanding action against lakhvi… and Pakistan has more nuclear weapons than India… so cheer up… Recommend

  • naik
    Jun 24, 2015 - 9:33AM

    As Jibran said, fasting can dehydrate the body even quicker. Fasting in this intense heat can be dangerous to health. Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jun 24, 2015 - 10:27AM

    @adnan:
    What??? Karachi is the highest contributor of the country and that is more than 70…can you please name the head offices for which we contribute to 70 percent of the total income. i wont ask u to correct ur figures cuz i know u hiding the facts deliberately out of your hate for Karachi. but this is true honey that Karachi is the financial and economic hub of the country, having head offices here means what??? on the contrary just for an example The Head office of Mobilink is in Lahore. so please explain what is there in Lahore production or say contribution wise???? Recommend

  • Fairness please
    Jun 24, 2015 - 5:15PM

    Sorry to see Punjabis sneering at Sind once again. As Sindh has been thrown to the wolves by the Punjabi elite running Pakistan, why not set the people of Sindh free and give them freedom? Let Sindh go its own way without Punjab sucking every last drop of their blood. Recommend

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