Karachi heatwave and Pakistan administration

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by thethinker, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

    Dec 18, 2013
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    Since Pakis are trolling here about mishaps or crimes or unrests happening in India, here is an example of how their administration handles crisis.

    5 Insane Realities Of A Deadly Heat Wave

    Brief summary :
    • Incompetent meteorology department
    • Ill equipped hospitals with no A/C
    • Vegetable and fruit vans with A/C being used as hearses to deliver corpses from heatwave
    • Gravediggers increasing prices of burial plots to cash in

    Karachi, located on the coast, has one of the mildest climates in Pakistan. The last time it got that hot was all the way back in 1979. And just like in a Hollywood disaster movie, some inappropriately handsome environmental experts DID try to warn the authorities after a similar heat wave killed 2,500 people in neighboring India the previous month. Meteorologists should have been able to predict something bad on the horizon, but the Pakistan Meteorology Department (PMD) was deemed "ill equipped to predict extreme weather events." Generally not something you want to hear from the bureau responsible for predicting extreme weather events.

    Unless you live directly on the beach like some sort of McConaughey, summer can be a rough time. There's a big difference between a nice sunny day and those mid-heat-wave laser blasts. Fortunately, we've invented air conditioning to keep Mother Nature from nuking us off the face of the planet come August.

    Unfortunately, not everybody has it. Especially not in a place like Karachi, Pakistan. That's why 1,300-1,400 people died there this past June, during a heat wave that saw temperatures topping 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Cracked wanted to know what it's like to live through such a brutal, deadly heat wave, so we reached out to Taha Anis, a Karachi-based journalist for the English language Express Tribune. He told us ...

    By the end of the first week of the heat wave, 65,000 people had been treated for heat stroke in Karachi's hospitals. The Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre is Karachi's largest hospital, and their director reported that her team was treating as many as 1,800-1,900 people a day in the emergency department. Conditions in the hospital were so strained that the medical personnel were forced to rely on volunteers for donations of water, ice, and even beds for the afflicted. The JPMC is equipped with a large central AC unit, but it is expensive to run, and due to a lack of funds, it remained unused. Yep, no AC even in the hospital.

    "The general masses only became aware of the deaths via the media," Taha explained. "Of course everyone notices the heat (ACs, especially those in cars, need to be turned up to 11. Also people do have to travel to and fro, so the heat is noticed even when its brunt isn't borne). The initial death toll started off with a figure of less than 20 on the television, and then kept on rising as time went by."

    The authorities were aware of the deaths, but did virtually nothing in the early days of the heat wave because, and we're paraphrasing here, "Oof, it's too hot out there."

    Taha says that a grave plot is often a bargain, sold for the equivalent of 15 USD. But like a morbid version of Uber, graveyards responded to the demand by jacking up their prices several times, all the way up to 150-500 USD. For many of the bereaved, 150 USD is an entire month's salary. With the demand for grave plots and their prices soaring, there was only one logical solution: communal graves. Over 500 mass graves were dug to handle the corpses, with some holding as many as 100 bodies.

    Food delivery trucks were pressed into service as makeshift hearses.
    cobra commando likes this.
  3. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 31, 2012
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    If you spend all your money on guns and terrorists, then civil governance will always be found wanting. That is what happening in Karachi.

    Slow down your military spending. Send the army back to barracks. Cut their huge spending habits, then only you can manage your civil affairs better.
  4. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

    Dec 18, 2013
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    Denials and playing victim forever...

    Hot air from Rajasthan power plants may have fanned Karachi heatwave

    ISLAMABAD: Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan has said that the coal-powered plants in Rajasthan, India, could have contributed to the deadly Karachi heat wave.

    “Trans-boundary pollution is a worldwide concern. We will investigate,” he said at a National Clean Development Mechanism Programme event here on Wednesday.

    In the minister’s view “a fallout effect of the coal-powered plants, in combination with other abnormal climate change events, possibly added to the already warm temperatures” in bordering Sindh.

    “If our findings say so, the ministry will raise the concern with the United Nations,” he said, adding that his office was gathering information on the problem.

    His remarks caught many by surprise as his own PML-N government has ambitious plans to generate power from coal to overcome the electricity crisis, which is partly blamed for nearly 800 heatstroke deaths in Karachi in the past five days.

    “It will be easy to establish which direction the heatwave came from and where it was headed in the next few days,” an official of the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency said. Technology is available for that, according to him.

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to declare a state of emergency as beside the dead, hundreds more victims of the heatwave are being treated in Karachi and other places in Sindh.

    It was also the job of the Karachi administration to investigate if the local environmental departments, such as Provincial Disaster Management Authority, were doing their jobs and taken necessary measures to lessen the death toll from the heat wave, said the minister for climate change.

    Frequent and long power outages added to the difficulties of the residents in Karachi because they had no means to cool themselves with electric fans and air-conditioners.

    A Ministry of Climate Change officer noted that coal-run power plants are the main source of electricity for India’s arid Rajasthan state.

    “It has plans to build more such plants to power the industrial growth and other needs of the state,” he said.

    However, the minister’s “fallout effect” suspicions did not surprise environment experts. They have been raising concerns about trans-boundary pollution from Indian into Pakistan occasionally.

    Director General, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Dr Ghulam Rasul is one such voice who has complained about ‘black carbon’ emitted from steel mills in the north of India that were carried by winds into Pakistan.

    “Winds carrying the black soot had been settling and accumulating on the glaciers in Pakistan’s northern areas. The black soot absorbs more heat, causing the glaciers to melt faster,” the expert explained.

    Minister Mushahidullah asserts that global warming is not a local problem but a worldwide concern. “It’s not just Pakistan but the entire region will be affected by the melting of glaciers,” he told Wednesday’s event.

    The frequent and heavy spell of rainfall in last few months and the heat wave in Karachi only show how seriously the problem of climate change is.

    “The rich countries have benefited from industrial development but all at the cost of environment that poor vulnerable countries like Pakistan are now paying. It is imperative that the rich countries spend some of that money to conserve environment and help Pakistan adapt to the altering climate, which it cannot achieve on its own for lack of resources,” the minister said.

    Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2015

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