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Dozens Killed In Heat Wave In Karachi, Edhi Foundation Says

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Minar-e-in Pakistan. Photo: Irfan0552007.

A heat wave has killed 65 people in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi over the past three days, a social welfare group said.

The heat wave has coincided with power outages and the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. Temperatures hit 44 degrees Celsius on May 21, the weather service said.

Faisal Edhi, who runs the Edhi Foundation that operates morgues and an ambulance service, said the deaths occurred mostly in the poor areas of Karachi, which is home to more than 15 million people.

“Sixty-five people have died over the last three days,” Edhi told Reuters. “Neighborhood doctors have said they died of heatstroke.”

Sindh Province Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho denied that anyone had died, however, telling the Dawn newspaper that “I categorically reject that people have died due to heatstroke in Karachi.”

A heat wave in 2015 left morgues and hospitals overwhelmed and killed at least 1,200 mostly elderly, sick, and homeless people.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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