Pakistan heatwave: At least 120 people die in searing temperatures at start of Ramadan

Power cuts have exacerbated the health problems

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The Independent Online

At least 120 people have died after a heat wave hit Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, authorities in the country have said.

The collapse of the electricity grid in the port city on the first day of Ramadan led to power cuts across the metropolitan area, which is said to have exacerbated the problem.

Temperatures his 44 degrees on Saturday and stayed high on Sunday.

Local media outlets are reporting a higher death toll than official estimates, with some outlets citing 140 deaths.

“Hospitals across the city are overcrowded due to record numbers of patients suffering from heat stroke,” provincial health minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar said in a statement.

“The numbers are unprecedented but the situation is under control.”

 

A spokesperson for Karachi’s Jinnah hospital confirmed dozens of deaths and said hundreds more had been admitted to hospital with illnesses including dehydration and heat stroke.

Karachi’s power is supplied by K-Electric, a private company.

Power cuts are a regular occurrence in Pakistan where corruption and mismanagement are rife in the utility sector.

Karachi’s metropolitan area has a population of 24 million people and covers over 1,300 square miles.

Nearly 1,700 died in a heatwave in neighbouring India last month, which the country's government blamed on climate change.

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