Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 25th 2015 Contents B50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 25, 2015
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KARACHI---A cool wind from the sea
and pre-monsoon rains brought the
first signs of respite to southern Pak-
istan yesterday, even as the death toll
from a scorching heat wave climbed
to 838---a high figure even for a nation
accustomed to sizzling hot summers.
Temperatures in hard-hit Karachi,
the country s largest city and its com-
mercial hub where the overwhelming
majority of the deaths were reported,
dropped to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2
degrees Fahrenheit), meteorologist
Abdur Rasheed said.
The drop likely marked the end of
the heat wave that began on Sunday.
Hospital officials said admittances were
lower than in previous days, when
dehydrated patients lay in corridors
and outside on the streets.
As dusk fell yesterday, volunteers on
the streets of the port city handed out
dates and provided drinks for iftar meals
that break the daylight fast during the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Karachi has been in the epicenter of
the heat wave, dubbed worst in at least
a decade, with temperatures reaching
45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahren-
heit). Hours-long power outages, little
running water and the Ramadan fasting
had worsened the situation further.
Home to some 20 million people and
the capital of the southern Sindh
province, Karachi has long suffered
under an inefficient power grid and a
shortage of potable water. The power
outages have also affected the city s
sporadic water supply, forcing those
who can afford it rely on tankers of
water being delivered to their homes.
Maj Gen Asghar Nawaz, chairman
of the National Disaster Management
Authority, said that in Karachi alone,
800 people died as a result of the heat
wave. The authorities were simply not
prepared to handle the heat wave---the
worst he could remember in Sindh since
Another 38 people died in various
other parts of the province, Nawaz said,
warning that the death toll could rise
further in the coming days because
many of the sick are in critical condi-
The army has set up special heat-
stroke centers to help local officials deal
with the situation, he said. Karachi res-
idents have been speculating the coun-
try could see more cyclones and harsh
weather in the future because of climate
change, he added.
During the heat wave s worst
moments, Karachi residents tried to
find running water to cool off at public
taps or broken pipes. Some bathed with
their clothes on, while others washed
their hands, faces and heads. As power
outages rolled across the city, women
and children walked down roads looking
for shelter after leaving their small, hot
"We re forced to sleep in the streets,"
resident Muzafar Khan said.
Seemi Jamali, a spokeswoman for
Karachi s main Jinnah Hospital, said
most of the heatstroke victims were
the elderly, women and children.
"People never expected this sort of
heat could come, so they were not pre-
pared for it," he said.
Political parties running the southern
province of Sindh and the federal gov-
ernment blamed each other for the dis-
aster while they debated the issue in
parliament yesterday. (AP)
WINNIPEG---Winnipeg police have
apologised and launched an investi-
gation after officers flying in a hel-
icopter mistakenly broadcast a cockpit
conversation that one person says
referred to a sex act.
Const Jason Michalyshen said three
officers were on routine patrol Monday
night when they inadvertently turned
on the chopper s public address system.
They didn t know people below could
hear their workplace chatter, which
witnesses said ranged from swearing
to talking about money and sex.
He said the officers were not able
to hear the public address system with-
in the chopper, but when they became
aware their conversation had been
broadcast they immediately turned it
off.The conversation came to light when
people took to social media using the
hashtags "whoops" and "speaker-
phone." One said the chatter included
remarks about oral sex.
"Having a backyard hangout with
the gals and the megaphone on that
chopper was loud and clear," Natanielle
Stephen Kernaghan was hanging out
with friends when they heard someone
talking through what sounded like a
"It was very bizarre. They were curs-
ing quite a bit," said the 26-year-old.
Kernaghan said the group listened
to the conversation for about three or
four minutes before the public address
system was abruptly turned off.
He said he felt badly for the offi-
"There almost couldn t be any more
public mistake---they were literally
broadcasting their conversation for
everyone to hear in downtown Win-
nipeg," he said. (AP)
Cops apologise for
copter cockpit sex talk
Rains cool Pakistan heatwave...
climbs to 838
Pakistani volunteers provide cold drinks to people suffering from the hot weather in Karachi, Pakistan,
yesterday. A cool wind from the sea and pre-monsoon rains brought the first signs of respite as the death toll
from a scorching heatwave climbed to over 800. AP PHOTO
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