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BBC News:Pakistan heatwave: Death toll over 1,000 in Sindh

The death toll from a heatwave in Pakistan's southern Sindh province has passed 1,000, reports say.

Local media say that at least 950 people have died in Karachi, with tens of thousands being treated for heatstroke and dehydration.

Temperatures dipped to 38C (100F) on Thursday but the spokesman for a leading charity told AFP that the death toll could reach as high as 1,500.

Officials have been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the crisis.

Severe electricity cuts in Karachi have angered residents as they have been left without working air-conditioning units and fans.

Anwar Kazmi, a senior official of leading charity the Edhi Welfare Organisation, said that the refrigeration units in the morgues had also stopped working.

Medical officials have been overwhelmed with the number of bodies and have been forced to store body bags on the floor, said Mr Kazmi.

Wednesday was declared a public holiday by the administration in Sindh in the hope that people would stay indoors out of the sun and avoid heat stroke.

But medical workers have said that they are still struggling with the number of people needing treatment.

The body's normal core temperature is 37-38C.

If it heats up to 39-40C, the brain tells the muscles to slow down and fatigue sets in. At 40-41C heat exhaustion is likely - and above 41C the body starts to shut down.

Chemical processes start to be affected; the cells inside the body deteriorate and there is a risk of multiple organ failure.

The body cannot even sweat at this point because blood flow to the skin stops, making it feel cold and clammy.

Heatstroke - which can occur at any temperature over 40C - requires professional medical help. If not treated immediately, the chances of survival can be slim.

There are a number of things people can do to help themselves. These include:

What happens to the body in extreme heat?

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