65K Heatstroke Cases, Morgues Overrun in Pakistan

Weeklong heat wave has now claimed 1.2K people
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2015 1:30 PM CDT
65K Heatstroke Cases, Morgues Overrun in Pakistan
A Pakistani child pours water on his cattle to cool off during a hot afternoon in Peshawar, Thursday, June 25, 2015. The devastating heat wave's toll was still climbing.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

A devastating weeklong heat wave in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi killed 1,233 people, an official said. Nazar Mohammad Bozdar, operations director at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, said about 65,000 heatstroke patients were treated by doctors at all of Karachi's hospitals since June 20 when the heat wave struck Sindh province. He told the AP that 1,923 patients with heat-related ailments were still being treated. "The government quickly responded by making arrangements for the treatment of heatstroke patients and the situation has improved now," he said. Pakistan's deadliest heat wave on record coincided with the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, when Pakistan's Muslim majority observed a dawn-to-dusk fast.

The temperatures in Karachi came down to 93 degrees Fahrenheit after reaching 113 degrees a week ago amid chronic power outages, which forced many residents to spend nights outdoors. The heat wave shocked many Pakistanis just weeks after soaring temperatures caused nearly 2,200 deaths in neighboring India. Since then, it has raised fears that South Asia could be seeing some of the devastating effects of human-caused climate change. Today, Pakistani television stations showed the Edhi Foundation charity burying several unidentified bodies of heatstroke victims because local morgues were overflowing. (More Pakistan stories.)

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