Scorching Temperatures in Pakistan Claim Hundreds of Lives

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Scorching heat and ongoing power outages in Pakistan have caused more than 230 deaths this year, according to officials and reporters from The News, a daily English-language paper published in Pakistan.

The official death toll as a result of the heat is not yet available, although the Hindustan Times reported that in the past week more than 190 people have died, with 57 on Wednesday.

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Professor Laiq Hussain of the Nishtar Hospital in Multan told The News that more than a dozen people were being taken daily to the emergency ward of the hospital due to sunstroke.

Several people have also drowned by jumping into canals and rivers in desperate attempts to cool off.

Wednesday’s heat broke a record high with a maximum temperature of 126 degrees Fahrenheit in Sibi, a city in the northern region of Pakistan.

The highest death rates have been in the Punjab region in eastern Pakistan, where temperatures hovered around 104 Fahrenheit for a straight week until Tuesday.

Citizens are struggling through the heat amidst continuous power outages, reported The News, due to energy shortages. Protesters have taken to the streets, where overcrowding and fatigue has only worsened the situation.

Last year, a heat wave in Pakistan claimed 80 lives, and in 2003, more than 230 people were killed.

Click here to read The News story on the heat wave.