‘It seems this heat will take our lives’: Pakistan city fearful after hitting 51C (124F)

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      Most workers take two hours off in the afternoon, according to Ali, and then go back to work. “When it gets too hot, we used to sit under the water handpump and use ice water. In the evening when we return home we get extremely tired and want to rest but because of the heat, we do not get enough sleep. Then we go out and sit in an open space so that some air can be felt, but when there is no air, it seems that this heat will take our lives.”

      The inhabitants of Jacobabad use hand fans and take frequent baths with cold water from hand pumps. Free cold-water camps have reportedly been set up at four places in the city, and are drawing huge crowds.

      Dr Irshad Ali Sarki, at Jacobabad MS civil hospital, told the Guardian that heatwave wards had been set up to prevent heatstroke, with four or five heatstroke patients admitted and treated daily. Dr Ammad Ullah, another doctor at the hospital, estimates that 50 to 60 people are getting heatstroke every day in this hot season, and said the hospital did not have the capacity to cope. “Some seek treatment from private clinics but the working class do not have the money to get their treatment,” he said.

      Citizens complain that, despite the heatwave, the government is not providing drinking water. Donkey carts selling blue plastic cans of water can be seen in large numbers, but there are question marks over the quality of this water. According to the district administration, the system is complete and water is being supplied through it, but the citizens say the water is polluted and not safe for drinking.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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