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Pakistan heat wave kills hundreds

A severe heat wave struck Pakistan in June 2015, mostly affecting Sindh, Southern Punjab, and Balochistan. As of 23 June 2015, it may have caused the deaths of an estimated 770 people or more, mostly in Karachi, though the exact death toll is uncertain.

The heat wave occurred during the Islamic month of Ramadan; the electricity grid crashed during the first day of Ramadan, leaving scores dead. The 2015 heat wave has had the highest recorded temperatures since 1979.

Causes 

Asif Shuja, the former director general of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, claimed that the heat wavewas a symptom of global climate change, aggravated by deforestation, expansion of asphalt-made super highways, and rapid urbanisation. He maintained that "there has been a rise in the Earth's average temperature from 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) to 16.2 °C (61.2 °F) over the last 100 years due to which we are experiencing such extreme weather conditions both in summers and winters." Shuja went on to say that the lack of sophisticated weather prediction technology in Pakistan contributed to the casualties of the heat wave.



Affected areas 

Karachi 

In Karachi alone, 748 died due to dehydration and heat stroke. So far, 119 dead bodies were brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, 279 bodies to JPMC and 98 bodies to the Civil Hospital, whereas numerous dead were also shifted to private hospitals. The heatwave also claimed lives of three zoo animals. 

Thatta 

Five people died in Thatta in the interior Sindh. 

Tharparker 

A health official reported deaths of a man, an infant and two children, adding that the desert Tharparker District has been without electricity since 19 June.

Recorded temperatures 

High temperatures were recorded in Pakistan's southern areas. The temperature ranged from 49 °C (120 °F) in Larkana and Sibi to 45 °C (113 °F) in Karachi. In southern Punjab, 40 °C (104 °F) was recorded in Multan whereas several areas of the Balochistan province were also affected where temperature touched 49 °C (120 °F) in Sibi and Turbat.






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