Light rain fails to end hot spell as seven more die from ‘heatstroke’ in Karachi

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Light rain fails to end hot spell as seven more die from ‘heatstroke’ in Karachi

KARACHI, JUN 28: A brief spell of light rain brought some respite for the people of Karachi on Thursday after they braved extreme weather conditions with mercury crossing 40° Celsius for the fifth consecutive day.

The hot and humid weather continues to take a heavy toll on the elderly and patients as seven more people, including a senior journalist, died from heatstroke on Thursday.

The Met Office said that the maximum temperature in the city was 40.5°C with 52 per cent relative humidity.

At 2:00pm, the heat index, or the feels-like temperature, was 53°C in the city when the actual temperature was 40°C and 47pc relative humidity.

While the Met Department has forecast isolated dust-thunderstorm and rain on city’s outskirts on Friday (today), it said that the city would continue to experience hot and humid weather and the maximum temperature is expected to range between 37°C and 39°C.

However, the sea breeze, which has been blocked by a low atmospheric pressure area for the past few days, is expected to be restored by Friday evening.

22mm of rainfall in Surjani
Light rain hit several parts of the city late Thursday afternoon following a dust storm.

The Met department recorded 22 millimetres of maximum rainfall in Surjani Town, followed by North Karachi (14mm), Gulshan-i-Hadeed (10mm), Malir Halt (4.4mm), Korangi (2.5mm), Nazimabad (1.4mm) and old Airport (0.3mm).

The areas where ‘trace’ — an amount of precipitation that is greater than zero, but is too small to be measured by standard — was recorded included Jinnah Terminal, PAF Faisal and Masroor bases, Met Office (University Road), Orangi Town, DHA Phase II, Quaidabad.

The Met Office said that 48mm of rain was recorded in Mirpurkhas followed by Chhor (14mm) and Shaheed Benazirabad (11mm). ‘Trace’ was reported from Badin, Hyderabad airport and Tandojam.

Two elderly sisters, journalist among dead
As patients of heat-related illnesses continued to pour in at healthcare facilities, at least seven more people, including a journalist, have reportedly died of heatstroke.

Two septuagenarian sisters died due to extreme heat in their home in Khokhrapar on Thursday, police and rescue services said.

Malir City SHO Farasat Shah told Dawn that the deceased women were identified as Shaherbano and Rukhsana. Their neighbours looked after them because they had taught them the Holy Quran, he added.

An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that the bodies were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for medico-legal formalities.

Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed said that attendants and relatives told doctors that both the sisters had suffered ’“heatstroke” and died. They took away the bodies saying that they did not want any legal proceedings, she added.

Sources told Dawn that two of the heat-related deaths occurred overnight, one each at the JPMC and the Indus Hospital, while a patient died at Sindh Government Qatar Hospital on Thursday.

They said that the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), where four patients died of the illness a day earlier, saw another death from heatstroke on Thursday.

“She was a married woman in her 30s. She reported a high fever and died of complications,” a CHK doctor said, adding that 14 heatstroke patients were successfully managed at the hospital on Thursday.

The 24-hour data of the JPMC showed that 32 heatstroke patients were treated at the hospital. One patient, in his 50s, died during treatment at the health facility.

Nine heatstroke patients were admitted to Indus Hospital, which saw one fatality.

According to the health department data of June 27, a total of 212 patients were treated for heatstroke at healthcare facilities. Of them, 205 recovered and discharged while there were seven mortalities.

Five deaths occurred at the CHK. However, CHK sources explained four of these deaths occurred on Wednesday and were mistakenly added to June 27’s data.

Meanwhile, senior journalist Tanveer Baig died from heatstroke. According to family members, Mr Baig suffered heatstroke on Tuesday afternoon. He is survived by five sons and a widow.

Known for his crime reporting, Mr Baig worked for Hurriyat and Nawa-i-Waqt. His association with the latter was spread over 40 years.