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April 12, 2017

Mercury in Karachi hits 42C, but sea breeze prevents 2015-like heat wave 


April 12, 2017

Temperature to drop to 36C in next three days, says Met department

Though the temperature in Karachi hit a sizzling 42 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the cool sea breeze and normal humidity level prevented a heat wave like the one witnessed in the city in June 2015 and no heat stroke cases were reported.

The mercury is expected to remain between 40 and 42 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and gradually fall to 38 degrees Celsius on Thursday and 36 degrees Celsius on Friday.

However, Karachi’s public sector hospitals are prepared to tackle a heat wave emergency.

After the Met Office had forecast a hot and dry weather in the city this week, the Sindh government had issued a circular to state-run healthcare facilities to ensure arrangements for heat stroke patients.

The officials of the city’s main public hospital said there were no heat stroke cases reported on Tuesday.

Over 1,200 people had died of heat stroke in Karachi in June 2015 when the mercury had soared to 45 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature recorded in the city’s history.

“The Met Office has predicted the weather to remain hot and dry during the ongoing week, but it has not issued a heat wave warning,” Karachi Met Office chief Abdul Rasheed told The News.

He added that in June 2015, the sea breeze from the Arabian Sea had weakened following the formation of a ridge; reducing the humidity level below normal at that time.

The Met Office chief said the sea breeze transport moves south-west at night turning the weather cool. But during daytime, the breeze moves north-west. On the Met Office’s forecast, Karachi mayor had ordered setting up 12 centres at the city’s hospitals for heatstroke patients and the provincial disaster management authority prepared a contingency plan for the entire province.

“Special arrangements have been made at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for heatstroke patients on the directives of the Sindh government, but no heatstroke case has been reported so far at the hospital,” said JPMC official Dr Seemin Jamali. “The JPMC has reserved space for heatstroke patients at the hospital’s intensive care unit and arranged medicines for them,” she added.

“Air-conditioners have been arranged to cool down the temperature of the wards reserved for heatstroke patients.”

Civil Hospital Karachi medical superintendent Dr Zulfiqar Ali Siyal said the hospital had assigned additional medical superintendent Dr Abdul Qadir Siddiqui the task of making made arrangements for heatstroke patients in its wards.  Dr Siyal added that there had been no heat stroke cases at the Civil Hospital so far.

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