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September 25, 2018

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Sindh CM orders reactivation of heat stroke units

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the authorities concerned to ensure urgent reactivation of heat stroke units at government hospitals in Karachi.

Responding to the latest weather forecast with chances of a steady surge in daytime temperatures, which went past 40 degree Celsius with almost no breeze during past two days, he sought immediate measures for timely intervention to prevent any possible heat stroke cases.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department in its weather updates has warned persistence in the surging heat for another day or two in Karachi.

Citizens in general have been advised to avoid direct exposure to sunlight and ensure increased water intake with equal care that light diet, preferably comprising fresh fruits, is consumed to minimize impact of heat. In recent years, Karachi has experienced heat waves in which hundreds of people have died.

News Desk adds: The urban heat island effect is a major cause of concern in Karachi. In the absence of sea breeze for several days, the city’s temperature remains hot even in the night as the trillions of tons of concrete which traps heat during the day, starts radiating the heat in the night and there is no respite for the people during the day and night for several consecutive days, experts say.

It was the urban heat island effect which resulted in more than a thousand deaths in the 2015 heat wave when the city was deprived of sea breeze because of a low pressure area in the Arabian Sea and warm winds trapped in the port city for several days kept the temperature as high as 46 degrees, with a real feel of 52-55 degrees Celsius due to high humidity in the air.

“There is an urgent need to stop constructions in Karachi and bring an end to city vertical and horizontal expansion,” environmentalist Nasar Usmani had said then. “Now this city needs more trees instead of more buildings and concrete structures.”

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