Heat wave in Pakistan claims 700 lives

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File photo: Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif during a visit to Downing Street.


A DEVASTATING heat wave which has already claimed thousands of lives in India in recent weeks has now prompted neighbouring Pakistan’s Prime Minister to declare a state of emergency. Nearly 700 people have died in the Sindh province in the south of Pakistan in the last four days.
Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif has called on the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to instigate emergency response measure, and instructed the army to support the setting up of centres to treat heat stroke victims.
The province’s largest city, Karachi, has seen the biggest concentration of deaths, where temperatures have soared to 45degrees.
Angry protestors have put the blame on electricity companies and the government, reports the BBC, with prolonged power cuts linked to increased demand for air conditioning said to have made the situation worse.
Elderly people and people from the poorest families have been the worst affected, and the catastrophic weather has also hit during Ramadan, when observant Muslims’ fasts can also exclude water during daylight hours.


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