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Mercury crosses 46-degree mark in parts of Delhi

NEW DELHI: The national capital continued to reel under blistering heat on Saturday with the mercury crossing the 46-degree mark in some parts of the city.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for Delhi, recorded a high of 43.5 degrees Celsius, three notches more than the normal, and a low of 27.6 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels oscillated between 30 per cent and 56 per cent.

The weather stations at Palam, Ayanagar, and Jafarpur recorded maximum temperature at 46.1, 46 and 45.7 degrees Celsius respectively.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued the highest "red" alert for some parts of northern India including the national capital.

Besides Delhi, the alert, which is the highest in the IMD's four colour-coded warnings, was issued for Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and some parts of Uttar Pradesh.

The department said that heatwave will continue in the region for another five days.

Mahesh Palawat of the Skymet Weather said heat wave conditions will persist in the national capital for another week and the maximum temperature will hover around 46 degrees Celsius.

Due to the easterly winds blowing in most parts of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, maximum temperatures may drop by one to two degrees Celsius in the Delhi-NCRregion, while the night temperature may increase by a few degrees, he said.

Government-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said due to intensified lifting of dust because of the high temperature, overall air quality in the city remained in the poor category, with PM10 being the major pollutant,

In large areas, a heat wave is declared when the mercury touches the 45-degree mark for two consecutive days and a severe heat wave is when the temperature soars to 47 degrees Celsius for two days on the trot.

In small areas, like the national capital, a heat wave is declared if the maximum temperature is recorded at 45 degrees Celsius even for a day.

On Friday, Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 44.8 degrees Celsius, four notches above the season's average, while the minimum was 28.4 degrees, a notch above the normal.

As the heatwave will continue for another five days, it may lead to rise in heat-related casualty figures.

Dilip Malvankar, director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar said, "People do not pay attention to extreme heat is because heat-related mortality is neither tabulated nor published."

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