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Hundreds treated for heatstroke as Pakistan heatwave rages on

Patients of heatstroke receive treatment at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Patients of heatstroke receive treatment at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Copyright Fareed Khan/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Fareed Khan/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Abby Chitty with AP
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Meanwhile, international relief organisations have expressed concern that millions of children could be at risk of dehydration and exposure to record-high temperatures.

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Hundreds of heatstroke victims are being treated at hospitals across Pakistan as an intense heatwave continues to blast the country.

Local residents are being urged to stay indoors after temperatures soared above 50C in some areas on Monday.

Across the country, volunteers have set up temporary relief camps where people can drink iced water and shelter from the heat.

The state-run ambulance service is also now carrying bottled water and ice to provide emergency treatment to victims of the extreme weather.

Pakistan's southwest and northwestern areas are also affected by the heatwave.

People drink sweetened water at a stall in Hyderabad, Pakistan.
People drink sweetened water at a stall in Hyderabad, Pakistan.Pervez Masih/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Daytime temperatures have soared as much as 8C above May’s average temperatures over the last two decades, raising fears of flooding in the northwest because of glacial melting.

Forecasters predict temperatures will soar to 55C this month, and this year, Pakistan recorded its wettest April since 1961. Last month’s heavy rains killed scores of people while destroying property and farmland.

Scientists have attributed the erratic weather to climate change. Pakistan's authorities said despite contributing less than 1% to carbon emissions, the country bears the brunt of global climate disasters.

A number of charities have also raised concerns that children will be particularly affected by the heat.

UNICEF says the increasing temperatures across the region could risk the health of millions of children if they are not protected and hydrated. 

The Save The Children NGO said more than half of Pakistan’s school-age children would be locked out of classrooms for a week due to the heat wave.

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