Sweat all you can as Karachi braves hottest Ramazan day so far

May 20, 2018

Pakistanis receive ice outside a hospital during heatwave in Karachi on June 24, 2015. Photo: AFP

On Sunday, Karachi is set to brave the hottest day of Ramazan so far.

Weather in the city will remain hot and dry as sea breeze was cut off, says the Met Office. Maximum temperature for the next three days will be 43 degrees Celsius. Minimum temperature expected is 40 degrees Celsius. Humidity in the air is 7%.

On Friday, the Met Office said that very hot weather will prevail in Karachi for the next five to six days with day temperature ranging between 40 degrees Celsius to 43 degrees Celsius. The Pakistan Meteorological Department issued an advisory to the city authorities to take protective measures against the heatwave. Despite the alert, the administration set up only a handful of heatstroke prevention camps in Karachi.

Pakistani relatives of heatstroke victims, their heads covered with wet towels, wait outside a hospital during a heatwave in Karachi on June 29, 2015. Photo: AFP

Over 1,200 people died in Pakistan in 2015 when a major heatwave hit the country. So far, the Met Office recorded Karachi’s highest temperature of the year on May 3, when the mercury soared up till 44 degrees Celsius. Very hot weather prevails in other parts of Sindh. Nawabshah braved the hottest April temperature of the world this year.

Protests break out

As the temperature tests people’s patience, water and power crises in the country worsen their plight.

“We never know when load-shedding will begin,” said one man in Lines Area. “They are all fraudsters. They have no shame. They are doing all this in Ramazan.”

The situation becomes unbearable as the Muslim majority fasts during Ramazan and have to eat their sehri and iftar in the dark. K-Electric, the power utility in Karachi, promises each year that there will be no power cuts during Ramazan. Most of the time, the promises go unfulfilled. Power cuts also lead to water crisis in the port city.

The people of North Nazimabad protested against water shortage late Saturday night, saying that the area has been deprived of water for the past 20 days. They protested outside the deputy commissioner’s office and blocked the road.

Desperate times

People in SITE are fed up. Water and power utilities cannot care any less about the people. In these desperate times, people have come up with different ways of beating the heat. In SITE, people have made holes in the water board’s pipelines and are bathing under the leaking water.

“We don’t have water at our homes,” said one man. “We come here to cool off due to load-shedding.” There is no better way to keep yourself cool while fasting, said another man.

Pakistani relatives move a heatwave victim on a stretcher to a hospital in Karachi on June 27, 2015. Photo: AFP

‘Invisible power’

Load-shedding is part of the Pakistani routine, especially during the summer months. A major breakdown hit Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa four days ago. Karachi faces similar breakdowns on a frequent basis as power plants develop one fault or the other. K-Electric said that the Bin Qasim power plant, which developed a fault on May 9, would be repaired by May 20. Now it says that another two to three days are required to fix the “technical fault”. The fault has brought about a shortfall of 600 to 700 megawatts for K-Electric.

On the other hand, the water and power ministry says that the country is producing more electricity than it needs.

According to the power division, they are producing 20,000 megawatts against the demand of 19,061 megawatts. The power division spokesperson said industries will now get electricity 24 hours a day.

 
 

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