Pakistan Prime Minister Call For Emergency
The Pakistan’s prime minister has called for emergency measures as the death toll from a heatwave in southern Sindh province reached nearly 700.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said it had received orders from Nawaz Sharif to undertake immediate response measures.
The army has also been deployed to set up heat stroke centres and assist the NDMA, it added.
Many of the victims are elderly people from low income families.
Health officials say many deaths have been in the largest city, Karachi, which has experienced temperatures as high as 45C (113F) in recent days.
Sindh province Health Secretary Saeed Mangnejo said that 612 had died in the city’s main government-run hospitals during the last four days. Another 80 are reported to have died in private hospitals.
The demand for electricity for air conditioning has coincided with increased power needs over Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours.
Hot weather is not unusual during summer months in Pakistan, but prolonged power cuts seem to have made matters worse.
Sporadic angry protests have taken place in parts of the city, with some people blaming the government and Karachi’s main power utility, K-Electric, for failing to avoid deaths, our correspondent adds.
The prime minister had announced that there would be no electricity cuts but outages have increased since the start of Ramadan, he reports.