Pakistan Heatwave Death Toll Rises To 224 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pakistan Heatwave Death Toll Rises To 224

Posted: Jun 23, 2015 at 7:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

At least 224 people have died in a heatwave in southern Pakistan, officials said Monday, as the government called in the army to help tackle widespread heatstroke in the worst-hit city Karachi.

The death toll in Karachi, the country’s largest city, where temperatures hit 45 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) at the weekend, is at least 180 and a further 11 deaths were reported in southern parts of central Punjab province.

The deaths come a month after neighbouring India suffered the second deadliest heatwave in its history, with more than 2,000 deaths.

The city has seen power cuts caused by an increased demand for electricity because of the extreme weather.

Many of the victims are elderly people who have been suffering from fever, dehydration and gastric problems.

Hundreds of patients suffering from the effects of the heatwave are being treated at government hospitals, Provincial Health Secretary, Saeed Mangnejo said.

Doctor Sabir Memon, a senior health official with the government in southern Sindh province, warned that the death toll was likely to rise in the evening.

National Disaster Management (NDMA) spokesman Ahmed Kamal said that the government had asked the army and paramilitary Rangers to help relief efforts which will include setting up heatstroke treatment centres around the city.

Coping with the scorching heat has been made harder by the power cuts that are a daily feature of life in Pakistan.

The Sindh provincial government has imposed a state of emergency at all hospitals, cancelling leave for doctors and other medical staff and increasing stocks of medical supplies.

Another 11 deaths were reported Monday in the southern part of Punjab province.

Pakistan’s Metrological Office said temperatures hit 43 C in Karachi on Sunday and 49 C in the southwestern city of Turbat, close to the Iranian border.

More hot and humid weather is predicted for the coming 24 hours, though thunderstorms forecast for later in the week could bring cooler weather.