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Intense heatwave claims over 800 lives, Pakistan

intense-heatwave-claims-over-470-lives-pakistan

An intense heatwave that started on Saturday, June 20, 2015 has claimed over 474 lives in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, and other districts of Pakistan's southern Sindh province, state television reported early Tuesday, June 23.

Province's Health Secretary Saeed Mangnejo said that the provincial government had imposed a state of emergency at all hospitals, cancelling leave for doctors and other medical staff and increasing stocks of medical supplies.

The southern port city of Karachi saw temperatures reach as high as 45 degrees Celsius on June 20. 

The maximum temperature of 48°C was recorded in three districts of Sindh — Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur — on June 20, which slid down to 41 on June 21.

The highest temperature Karachi ever experienced was 48°C on May 9, 1938. (ALHASAN/DailyDawn)

The high temperatures were made worse by frequent power outages, sparking protests in several parts of Karachi and crippling Karachi's water supply system.

According to Dawn.com, the staggering death toll is believed to be the highest-ever for Karachi, as well as Sindh. Pakistan's Met office said Karachi was among the hottest places in the province as mercury shot up to 43°C on Monday, June 22. The minimum temperature was 33°C with 45% humidity.

The maximum temperature in the city on Tuesday, June 22 is expected to range between 42 and 44°C.

On Monday, the maximum temperature in Sukkur, Chhor, Dadu, Larkana, Rohri and Nawabshah was 43°C; in Jacobabad, Mithi and Moenjodaro 42°C; in Badin, Thatta and Padidan 41°C; and in Hyderabad 40°C.

Met office added temperatures would likely subside in the coming days, but doctors have advised avoiding exposure to the Sun and wearing light cotton clothes.

Update, June 24:

By June 24th, the number of casualties has climbed to over 800. (BBC)

Featured image credit: Meteo Earth/Temperature – June 23,2015.

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