Hospitals put on alert as heatwave grips Karachi

KARACHI: In the wake of the heatwave forecast by the Met Office, the Karachi Administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani has given directives to put all the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) hospitals and 1122 rescue services on alert on Tuesday.

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All relevant officials and staffers have been asked to remain on duty round the clock.

According to a press statement issued by the KMC, the focal persons of all the hospitals have been directed to make foolproof arrangements in the wake of the heatwave alert.

Meanwhile, the medical and health Services department issued an advisory for the people and asked them to adopt precautionary measures.

The citizens have been urged to drink water and ORS to be saved from dehydration. People have been asked to avoid going out unnecessarily and wear caps and use an umbrella while working or going outside.

It asked the diabetic and blood pressure patients to adopt special preventive measures. The advisory asked the citizens to approach their nearest heat stroke centre in case of any emergency.

‘Weather to remain too hot and dry till Saturday’

Under the influence of dry continental wind which has started blowing towards Karachi due to the formation of a high-pressure area on Central Asia and Afghanistan, the mercury soared to 40.2 degrees Celsius on Monday, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

The Met Office said the weather would remain too hot and dry till Friday or Saturday. The PMD had forecasted a week-long heatwave in Karachi from Monday, with temperature ranging between 40 to 42 degrees Celsius.

“Due to a high-pressure area formed over Central Asia, dry continental air resulted in the increase in temperature in Karachi but due to very low humidity in the air, the feel-like temperature was not high as compared with high-humidity weather,” said Sardar Sarfraz, PMD Chief Meteorological Officer in Sindh.

The official said they were expecting temperature ranging between 39 to 41 degrees Celsius on Tuesday (today) in Karachi.

He added that mercury could rise up to 42 degrees Celsius from Wednesday till Friday, adding that even Saturday would be a harsh day for Karachiites.

Sardar Sarfraz said October was usually a hot month in Karachi as sea breeze remained cut off due to a transition from summer to winter.

‘Energy conservation’

Similarly, the K-Electric has also urged its consumers to practice energy conservation. With temperatures expected to go as high as 42 degrees centigrade, the KE urged its customers to take all necessary precautions between 11am and 4pm — the peak heat hours.

According to a press statement from the power utility, as power demand is likely to escalate on account of the heat, the power utility is in contact with its fuel suppliers to ensure consistent supplies essential for optimised power supply.

“At the same time, the power utility appeals to its customers to consume electricity mindfully and practice energy conservation. The power utility has ensured that its rapid response teams remain on high alert during this time to ensure swiftest possible restoration of any faults, while also time deferring any non-vital maintenance shutdowns during this time.”

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