Karachi opens heat relief centres in bid to cut death toll

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After nearly 1,300 people died in extreme heat last year, the city is stepping up preparations for this summer

By Aamir Saeed

ISLAMABAD, June 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Last summer, temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius led to more than a thousand heat-related deaths in Karachi. This year, as it prepares for the peak of summer heat, the city has opened 179 heatstroke centres to try to hold down the death toll.

Officials have also trained scores of new ambulance drivers and are working with utility companies to try to keep electricity and water flowing as the city's 24 million people battle summer heat during the month-long Islamic fast of Ramadan, when drinking water and eating is forbidden during daylight hours.

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