The death toll in Pakistan rose this weekend as cities -- including Karachi and Sindh -- experienced temperatures up to 111 degrees Fahrenheit. Various media outlets' casualty estimates ranged from 120 to 237 as the country began to recover Monday from a crashed electricity grid and packed facilities, the Express Tribune reported.

At morgues, authorities were instructing families of victims to inter them immediately, senior nonprofit official Anwar Kazmi told Reuters. "We are urging people to bury their dead at the earliest [opportunity] in view of the current heat wave and poor power situation," said Kazmi, who works for the Edhi Foundation. "We have not run out of capacity at the morgue but buried 30 unclaimed bodies this morning to create more space."

The extreme weather coincided with the start of Ramadan, a monthlong Muslim observance where followers fast during daylight hours. Karachi's private power company, K-Electric, had assured residents it could handle the demand for water and air-conditioning during the nightly iftar meals, but the grid ultimately crashed. In response, people began protesting and lighting fires in the streets, Dunya News reported.

heat-wave-one Pakistanis cool off in the sea during a heatwave in Karachi on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images
Pakistan's hospitals were also struggling to cope with demand. Medical staffers were told they could not take leave, and administrators stocked up on supplies like rehydration salts. Hundreds of people have been admitted with high fevers and breathing problems, Dawn News reported. “Hospitals across the city are overcrowded due to record numbers of patients suffering from heat stroke,” said Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, the provincial health minister, in a news release. “The numbers are unprecedented, but the situation is under control.”
heat-wave-two Pakistani men sit with their animals under a bridge during a heatwave on the outskirts of Islamabad on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images

The heat wave began Saturday and continued Sunday, when temperatures decreased to about 108 degrees Fahrenheit. It was scheduled to last through Wednesday, at which point meteorologists predicted thunderstorms would cool the area.

In the meantime, officials urged residents -- especially the elderly -- to stay indoors. “If possible, the citizens are advised not to leave homes for as long it’s hot out there,” an unnamed expert told Pakistan Today. “Taking precautions is a must as it could mean the difference between life and death in the prevailing weather conditions.”

heat-wave-three A Pakistani youth cools off in the sea during a heatwave in Karachi on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images