ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: As 16 more people died of heat exhaustion in Karachi on Monday, the climate change ministry set up a committee to look into the causes of the current heatwave and possibly why so many deaths had occurred in the port city this summer.
Health authorities have also revised the death toll in the province from 1,213 to 1,229.
According to a report issued by Director-General Hasan Murad Shah, 16 more deaths were recorded at different hospitals across the city since late Sunday night. Shah, however, said the situation was under control.
He insisted the health department was not negligent. “We don’t hide any reports from the public and the media.”
Trying to explain why it has been sweltering hot in Karachi for the past 10 or so days, the DG said humidity had made the city especially hot. “There is no proper ventilation at houses in densely populated areas.”
Read: The blame game: ‘Govt was warned about possible heatwave, failed to take action’
He said temperatures in other parts of the province were higher than in Karachi. “But the situation is better in those parts because they aren’t as congested as the port city.”
The maximum temperature in the city on Monday was recorded at 37°C. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the temperature would more or less be the same on Tuesday (today).
“There is no forecast of rain or another heatwave or high temperatures this week for Karachi,” said the PMD’s focal person for Karachi, Abdul Rashid.
Read: Heat wave deaths: K-Electric flayed for power outages during intense heat
According to weather experts, the people of the metropolitan city would feel normal temperatures unbearable until it rains.
Meanwhile, the climate change ministry has named former head of the meteorological department Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry as the convener of the ‘Expert Study and Investigative Group’ which will determine the causes of the heatwave.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.
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