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Deadliest, week-long Pakistan heatwave kills 1,233 in Karachi

Tens of thousands of people have been treated for heatstroke in Pakistan's southern port of Karachi. The heatwave, the worst on record, has already killed 1,233 people, local authorities say.

About 65,000 heatstroke patients have been treated by doctors at Karachi's hospitals since June 20 according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority. The heatwave has affected Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital. Temperatures have reached 45 degrees Celsius (113 degress Fahrenheit).

Operations director Nazar Mohammad Bozdar said that 1,923 patients with heat-related ailments were still being treated. There have been power outages and many people have spent nights outdoors in cooler air.

"The government quickly responded by making arrangements for the treatment of heatstroke patients and the situation has improved now," he said.

Pakistan's deadliest heatwave on record has taken place at the same time as the holy month of Ramadan, when the Muslim community fast from dawn to dusk.

Salma Kausar Ali of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation said that temperatures in Pakistan's most populated city have started to come down, towards 36 and 37 degrees Celsius. There are 20 million people living in Karachi.

Kausar Ali said that most of the victims of the heatwave were people aged more than 60 years or people who worked out of doors.

jm/bk (EFE, AP)

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