Heat wave: About 230 killed in 5 weeks in SE India
Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions would prevail in Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Telangana, a weather bulletin issued by the IMD on Saturday said. The weather department declared a heat wave condition in Delhi as well. Delhiites on Saturday wilted under intense heat wave conditions as the mercury shot up to the season’s highest of 44.5 degrees Celsius and crossed 46 degrees mark at the Palam observatory.
As the heat wave continued to sweep the national Capital, maximum temperature was recorded five notches above normal at 44.5 degrees at the Safdarjung observatory, the official reading for the city.
However, mercury at Palam weather station settled at 46.2 degrees Celsius, the officials said. Saturday’s weather bulletin said the heat wave is likely to continue for the foreseeable five days, with only dust storms and isolated squalls being of some hope in places such as Western Uttar Pradesh. Meerut saw a high of 42.1 degrees Celsius on Saturday, approximately 3 degrees Celsius above normal.
The minimum temperature settled at 29.3 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season’s average, said Meteorological department officials. Officials said about 230 people have died since mid-April in a heat wave sweeping two southeast Indian states.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, said more than 100 people have died in the last week in his state. An official in neighbouring Telangana state said around 130 deaths have been reported there since April 15. The mercury has been hovering in the mid-forties in Punjab and Haryana, with places like Rohtak recording nearly 45 degrees Celsius.
In Madhya Pradesh, temperatures were up by an average 2 degrees Celsius across most parts of the state. Bhopal recorded a high of 42.8 degrees Celsius (+3) while Indore was at a more typical 40.1 degrees Celsius on Saturday.
A heat wave, characterised by blazing sunlight and hot blowing winds, leads to conditions such as heat stroke and dehydration that can potentially turn fatal with long exposure. Fatalities from such conditions are usually that of homeless or those who are compelled to stay outdoors.
This year’s summer is expected to be particularly difficult for states that see high temperatures, with experts expecting a weaker monsoon due to the El Nino phenomenon.
Meanwhile, hot and humid conditions hit life across West Bengal on Saturday with several places recording over 40 degrees Celsius and reports of a person dead due to the rough weather. The alleged heat deaths went up to three with a 52-year-old taxi driver dying in the city during the day. The two other deaths were reported on Friday from Barrackpore in adjoining North 24 Parganas district and in the city.