A Heatwave in Pakistan continues to claim lives as the region enters its fifth straight day of temperatures rising above 110 degrees. According to local reports, the death toll stands at almost 800 individuals across the Sindh province. Nearly 8,000 people have also been hospitalized for heat exhaustion and dehydration, according to local media reports.
While Pakistan is no stranger to oppressive temperatures, especially through the month of June, the dangerously high temperatures happen to coincide with the Muslim holy time of Ramadan. During Ramadan followers of Islam are expected to fast, and take in minimal liquids from sun up to sun down. Pakistani power grids have also been overworked and power outages have become a common theme across the nation. Brad Reifler warns that these three factors together, along with historically high temperatures have created a true emergency situation.
Government officials are warning individuals to stay hydrated, to stay out of the sun, and to seek medical attention if they begin feeling unwell. They have also opened cooling centers around Karachi to help individuals beat the heat, but the there is fear that the body count could rise before Monsoon season starts and cools off the region.
Pakistan’s Sindh province regularly experiences temperatures exceeding 95 degrees during the month of June. Monsoon season begins in July, and should cool temperatures significantly. The average temperature in Karachi, a major port city in the Sindh province, during the month of July is around 86 degrees.