A severe heatwave is expected to strike Pakistan, in particular the southern province of Sindh and its capital Karachi, from the beginning of May up to the first week of June, coinciding with the first week of Ramadan. Karachi has already been affected by a moderate heatwave during the last 10 days of April, which caused two deaths.
Last year, a heatwave affected Sindh throughout June and during Ramadan, the month during which practising Muslims do not drink or eat between sunrise and sunset. Between 1,300 and 2,000 people died in Karachi, with the impact of the heatwave exacerbated by fasting, despite calls of local clerics to suspend fasting if necessary. Additional factors explaining the severity of last year’s heatwave included a delay in emergency warning, widespread power cuts, and a general lack of preparedness by the authorities and other responding agencies.