Pakistan heat wave

This item appears on page 16 of the August 2015 issue.

A heat wave in the Sindh province of southern Pakistan in late June, with temperatures rising to 113°F (45°C), led to the deaths of at least 1,250 people, 950 of whom were in the city of Karachi. 

The effects of the heat were exacerbated by Muslims’ traditional abstention from drinking water during the day during the month of Ramadan (in 2015, June 18-July 16). Clerics issued statements saying that people were not obligated to abstain from drinking water if they were weak or sick. Locals also complained that power cuts had limited the use of fans and air-conditioning. 

In May, a heat wave in neighboring India left at least 1,700 people dead.