Heatwave Kills 700 in Pakistan Amid Power Cuts and Government Inaction
Amina Qamar, Takeshi Hasegawa and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The devastating heatwave in southern Sindh is known to have killed at least 700 people in this part of Pakistan. At the same time, the government of Pakistan responded slowly to the crisis therefore anger is visible in parts of southern Sindh. Also, power cuts highlight the shaky reality of an infrastructure that is failing the people of this area during a time of great need.
Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, has now called for urgent measures. However, this seems more piecemeal and directed at the increasing ill feeling towards the government based on the slow response to the crisis.
The armed forces of Pakistan are now working in temperatures of 45C (113F) in order to help the most vulnerable in society. This applies to helping in the creation of emergency heat stroke centers.
According to the BBC and other sources you have genuine anger in areas hit hard by the horrendous heatwave. The BBC reports: “There is anger among local residents at the authorities because power cuts have restricted the use of air-conditioning units and fans, correspondents say.”
The same media source says “Matters have been made worse by the widespread abstention from water during daylight hours during the fasting month of Ramadan.”
Figures released stress that currently 612 citizens have perished in hospitals run by the central government in Karachi. On top of this, it is believed that another 80 have perished in private health care facilities. Therefore, the social factor is highlighting the huge gap between rich and poor in Pakistan.
Power cuts in Karachi and outlying areas is making the severity of the crisis even worse. Indeed, discontent is brewing because some protests are strongly rebuking K-Electric. This is based on the systematic failure of this company when it comes to preventing power cuts during a time of emergency.
Sadly, for the people of southern Sindh it appears that the central government was too aloof from the needs of the people when the heatwave first began. At the same time, K-Electric wasn’t up to the emergency situation therefore the death rate is alarmingly high.
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