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Heatwave has killed at least 450 people in Karachi region in four days, claims NGO

Karachi, Pakistan's port city, has been hit by extreme hot weather since Saturday with soaring mercury crossing 40 degrees Celsius for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 11:32 IST

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Karachi: A searing heat wave that has hit Pakistan’s biggest city has led to the death of at least 450 people over the last four days, a leading NGO claimed on Wednesday.

The Edhi Foundation said it received at least 427 bodies in the last four days excluding Wednesday while the Sindh government had on Tuesday released 23 bodies in three government hospitals.

Karachi, Pakistan's port city, has been hit by extreme hot weather since Saturday with soaring mercury crossing 40 degrees Celsius for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, temperatures that are too high for a coastal areas.

“We have four mortuaries operating in Karachi and we have reached a stage where there is no more space to keep more bodies in our mortuaries,” Faisal Edhi, who heads the Foundation, said.

Edhi Trust is the largest welfare foundation in Pakistan and provides various free or subsidised services to the poor, homeless, orphan street children, discarded babies and battered women.

“The sad fact is that many of these bodies have come from areas where a lot of load shedding is going on even in this harshest weather,” he said.

Edhi said most of the bodies belonged to homeless people and drug addicts on the streets. “The extreme heat wave got to them as these people spend their entire day out in the open searching for fixes,” he said only to add: “But only the government hospitals or where they were initially taken to can tell you the real cause of death.”

He said on Tuesday itself they had received 135 bodies at their morgues and 128 on Monday.

Karachites also have to brave long hours of load shedding in many areas with the electricity supplier, Karachi Electric, now claiming it has to resort to power cuts because the Sindh government still has to clear dues of Rs 10 billion.

The cosmopolitan city, which is also the financial capital of Pakistan, is home to millions of migrants from other parts of the country and also from Afghanistan and some African countries and this includes hundreds of thousands of drug addicts who live on the streets.

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Published 26 June 2024, 11:32 IST

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