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A Heat Wave in Pakistan Has Killed Around 140 People

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Around 140 people died in a sudden heat wave over the weekend in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi and surrounding Sindh province — the latest incidence of lethally hot weather to have affected the subcontinent over the past month.

While most of the victims were men above 50, the heat wave also killed six women and five children, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, placing the total death toll at 136. Pakistani news channel Geo TV reported a death toll of 140, citing provincial health secretary Saeed Mangnejo.

Around 130 of the fatalities were recorded since Saturday in Karachi, which has experienced temperatures of 45°C — the hottest this year. More lives were lost in the rest of Sindh province, where temperatures hit 48°C.

Dr. Seemin Jamali, head of the state-run Jinnah Medical Centre, told reporters that over 100 people had died at the hospital. “They all died of heat stroke,” she said.

The adverse effects of the heat wave have been exacerbated by frequent power outages and the fact that most Pakistanis are fasting from dawn to dusk for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A similar heat wave swept Pakistan’s neighbor India less than a month ago, with more than 2,000 people across several Indian states dying from unusually high temperatures in late May.

See Images of Indians Trying to Cope With the Country’s Deadly Heat Wave

India Heatwave
Indian fishermen catch fish in a shrunken pond in the village of Phaphamau on the outskirts of Allahabad on May 26, 2015. Sanjay Kanojia—AFP/Getty Images
India Heatwave
A rickshaw puller rests on a hot summer day in Kolkata, India on May 27, 2015. Bikas Das—AP
India Heatwave
Road markings appear distorted as the asphalt starts to melt due to the high temperature in New Delhi on May 27, 2015.Harish Tyagi—EPA
India Heatwave
A rickshaw puller rests under the shade of an overhead bridge on a hot summer day in Hyderabad, India on May 25, 2015. Mahesh Kumar A.—AP
India Heatwave
A laborer cools off under a water tap on a hot afternoon in Amritsar, India on May 26, 2015. Raminder Pal Singh—EPA
India Heatwave
A boy jumps into a step well built inside the shrine of Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya in New Delhi on May 24, 2015. Adnan Abidi—Reuters
India Heatwave
A youth frolics in the Sabarmati river as he cools himself off on a hot afternoon in Ahmedabad, India on May 26, 2015. Divyakant Solanki—EPA

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com