More than 50 dead as Pakistan’s Karachi recovers from prolonged heatwave


A severe heat wave has battered Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, for the third week in a row, filling hospitals with patients and morgues with morgues, officials and rescue workers said Thursday.

More than 50 people have died from heatstroke since the start of the latest wave last month, police spokeswoman Summiya Syed said.

Dozens of new victims were transferred to the city’s largest Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Wednesday, hospital spokesman Hassan Ali told dpa.

The heat index – a combination of temperature and humidity – rose to 55 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, the highest level ever recorded in the coastal city of more than 20 million people, chief meteorologist Sardar Sarfraz said.

“This is unbearable in many ways. This is happening because the sea breeze has stopped and the humidity has risen to 55%,” he said.

A charity that runs the city’s main ambulance service and several mortuaries said the true death toll could be much higher than the officially known figures.

Rescue workers from the charity Edhi Foundation recovered more than 140 bodies on Wednesday, compared to a daily average of 30 to 40.

“This has been a trend since the heatwave started. Our daily count is over 100 every day,” Mohamed Amin, spokesperson for the charity, told dpa.

It is the second heat wave to hit the climate-vulnerable South Asian country this year, with temperatures soaring above 50 degrees in several cities during the first in early June.

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