Skip to navigationSkip to content
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro
It’s so hot, it makes more sense to sleep outside.
HEAT WAVE

What 104 degrees (or 40 C) looks like in Karachi, Pakistan

By Johnny Simon

In Karachi, 65 deaths have been blamed on a heat wave that has brought unbearably hot temperatures to the Pakistani city. Temperatures hovering around 40°C (104°F) for the last few days have killed mostly elderly and poor workers in the city of more than 20 million, Reuters reports. Many of the dead are factory workers:

[Faisal Edhi, head the Edhi Foundation, which runs morgues and ambulences] said most of the dead brought to the morgue were working class factory workers who came from the low-income Landhi and Korangi areas of Karachi.

“They work around heaters and boilers in textile factories and there is eight to nine hours of (scheduled power outages) in these areas,” he said.

Karachi suffered an even more devastating heat wave in 2015, which killed more than 1,300 people.

Photos from the past two days show locals beating the heat by dousing themselves and others with water, and sleeping on the sidewalk.

EPA/Shahzaib Akber
A man sprays people with water on a road in Karachi on May 22.
EPA/Shahzaib Akber
A man sprays two men on a motorcycle in Karachi.
EPA/Shahzaib Akber
A man sprays motorists with water on a road in Karachi.
EPA/Rehan Kahn
Rescue workers spray people on May 22.
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro
A mother holds her child, covered with a towel to avoid sunlight, on May 21.
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro
A train passenger wets his face to cool off.
EPA/Rehan Kahn
People cool off around punctured water supply lines in Karachi.
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro
Residents cluster around the spray from a leaking water pipeline in Karachi.
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro
Residents sleep on a pavement to escape heat and frequent power outages in their homes.