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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Heatstroke Casualties Increase in Karachi

Karachi's ongoing heatwave has resulted in a rising death toll, with 36 bodies discovered over three days, highlighting a severe climate crisis.

The extreme heatwave gripping Karachi has revealed a tragic toll, with the discovery of 11 bodies on Tuesday, raising the total to 36 over the past three days. Among the deceased were ten men and one woman, with only three identified so far. This follows the recovery of 10 bodies on Sunday and 15 on Monday. The ongoing heatwave, with temperatures expected to hit 40°C, has made the situation dire for the city’s residents.

Chhipa and Edhi volunteers have been actively involved in transporting these bodies to government hospitals and mortuaries. On Tuesday, Chhipa officials found a 55-year-old unidentified man near Signal No. 3 in Soldier Bazaar at 3:30 pm, a 50-year-old unidentified man near Jamal Mosque in Gulshan-e-Maymar at 5:38 pm, and another body identified as Munawar Ali in Orangi Town No. 12 at 5:39 pm. The causes of death for these individuals remain undetermined.

Volunteers and Authorities Respond

The humanitarian organizations Chhipa and Edhi have been at the forefront, managing the recovery and transportation of bodies. Chhipa volunteers found a 35-year-old unidentified man near Dua Hotel on Mauripur Road at 6:16 pm and another 35-year-old near Noorani Hotel in Manghopir at 6:30 pm, both causes unknown. Later, at 8:30 pm, the body of a 55-year-old unidentified woman was found near Schon Circle Underpass in Clifton.

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Edhi officials reported the recovery of a 32-year-old man named Umair in New Karachi’s Sector 5-J early Monday night. Other recoveries included a 55-year-old unidentified man in Surjani Town and a 75-year-old man named Rehmat near Younis Goth in Lyari. Both organizations confirm the unidentified bodies’ total now stands at 22.

Heatwave Impact and Speculation on Causes

Hospitals in Karachi, including Jinnah and Civil, continue to receive heat-affected patients, many treated and discharged after initial medical aid. A spokesperson from the Chhipa Welfare Association noted that many bodies appeared to be of drug addicts, with severe heat and substance use contributing to their deaths. Edhi Foundation’s Azeem Khan echoed this sentiment, attributing many deaths to the lethal combination of heat and drug influence.

As Karachi braces for more scorching days, the heatwave has severely impacted citizens, with heatstroke admissions rising. The authorities have been urged to address the humanitarian crisis, ensuring adequate support for vulnerable populations. The deaths underscore the need for public awareness and robust emergency response mechanisms to mitigate the heatwave’s devastating effects.