Death toll exceeds 1,200 in Pakistan heatwave

Death toll from searing heatwave in Pakistan exceeds 1,200 as morgues and graveyards overwhelmed

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Death toll of the people who died of searing heatwave in Pakistan tops 1,200 after a week of extreme conditions in the country’s southern city of Karachi.

It is the worst heatwave that hits Karachi in nearly 35 years.

The effects of the heatwave are easing in the south of the country following a week of extreme conditions.

According to hospitals, the worst-hit area and the country’s commercial capital Karachi has the highest death toll with 1,083 deads, including 33 on Friday.

Two hundred more also died in parts of the province outside Karachi, said the southern Sindh province’s Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah earlier the week.

According to the health officials, hundreds are still being treated for heatstroke in Karachi hospitals although the temperature on Friday decreased to 36 degrees Centigrade from a high of 45 with the arrival of clouds bringing predicted monsoon rains.

In parts of the country power cuts have lasted up to 12 hours a day. This appears to be one of the reasons of the high number of deaths.

However, authorities claim main reason for power and water cuts is the increasing demand.

The water and power cuts caused a water shortage, mainly in the slums of Karachi where water pumping stations cannot run without electricity.

According to local media, many of those killed were labourers and workers from further north, who could not cope with the intensity of the heat and humidity.

Even for the dead, the ordeal is not over. The families of the victims are in search for spaces to bury their loved ones as Karachi's graveyard spaces have been overburdened by the sudden spike in deaths.

TRTWorld and agencies