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Unprecedented heat wave scorches India

Unprecedented heat wave scorches India
The unrelenting sun unleashed misery on the people of Jharkhand and Telangana, where 49 people have lost their lives.

For Delhiites, it was comparatively less hot in the national Capital as the mercury settled below normal levels. The maximum temperature was recorded at 36.8 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average while the minimum temperature settled at 23 degrees, normal for this time of the year, said a MeT department official. The drop in temperature is because of a Western disturbance. The humidity in air remained on the lower side and oscillated between 56 and 13 per cent.

There seems to be no respite from searing heat for a month and half more with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) saying that the drought condition prevailing in the country now will remain maximum for 30 to 45 days.

IMD director B P Yadav said farmers faced two deficient rainfall years consecutively and the immediate solution is good monsoon and the weather office has predicted good forecast and the South-west monsoon rainfall will be above normal in this year.

Ten states are reeling under drought and water storage in reservoirs is an all time low. The weather office has for the first time started giving heat wave forecast to inform people about the extreme weather conditions. In view of the prevailing heat wave condition in Odisha, the state government has issued an advisory asking people to remain indoors between 11 am and 3 pm. The state government confirmed two more sunstroke deaths taking the official death toll due to heat related incidents to four. Of the four sunstroke deaths, three were reported from Angul district and one from Bolangir, a SRC official said. “Titlagarh in Odisha’s Bolangir district is the hottest place in the country with the mercury reaching 48 degree C,” IMD director Sarat Sahu said. Titlagarh was followed by Talcher (46.8) and Sonepur (46) in western Odisha.

Though nine towns in the state experienced temperatures above 44 deg C on Friday, it has now increased to 15 places in the state. A total of 18 towns and cities reeled under the heat with temperature above 40 degree C.

The places which recorded temperature above 44 degree C were: Balasore (44.2), Baripada (45.3), Sambalpur (45), Sundergarh (44), Hirakud (44.3), Talcher (46.8), Bhawanipatna (45), Bolangir (45.2), Malkangiri (44.2), Sonepur (46) and Titlagarh (48).

Bhubaneswar recorded 41.5 deg C with relative humidity at 92 per cent. In West Bengal, severe heat wave prevailed in the western districts with Bankura recording the maximum at 47 
degrees Celsius.

Severe heat wave gripped Birbhum (44 degrees), Burdwan (42.3 degrees) and West Midnapur district (45 deg C) while Nadia, Murshidabad, Howrah, Purulia districts witnessed 43 deg Celsius.

Noticeably, as South Bengal districts reeled under unbearable heat, people in North Bengal heaved a sigh of relief because of intermittent rain. The weather has been hot and humid in South Bengal districts. According to the MeT department, there will be no respite from the heat in the next couple of days as the heat wave will sweep through various districts of the state. “In next two days there is no possibility of rain in the South Bengal districts. Moreover, the temperature may rise further. Heat wave will prevail in Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia along with various parts of the city,” a senior official of the MeT office said.

Asansol and Sriniketan recorded 44 degrees and it was 43 degrees in Krishnanagar and 39 degrees Celsius in Malda.

Kolkata recorded a maximum of 38.5 degrees c while neighbouring Dumdum saw temperature rise to 40.6 degrees C, the MeT office said.

In neighbouring Jharkhand, Jamshedpur recorded a high of 45.8 degree C, six degrees above normal. With 41.5 degree C, Ranchi continued to sizzle while heat wave conditions continued in Palamau (43.8 degree C), Giridih (43), Latehar (42), Lohardga (42), Simdega (42) and Khunti (41), the MeT said. Sahibganj in the Santhal Pargana region experienced 39 degree C.

In Telangana, heat wave has so far claimed 49 lives and there seems no respite from soaring mercury as the hot weather is likely to prevail at few places in the state for at least two days, a Disaster Management department official said. The highest maximum temperature of 45 deg Celsius was recorded at Bhadrachalam, Khammam, Nalgonda and Nizamabad. The MeT report further said that rains occurred at one or two places in the state.

In view of the weather conditions, the government had advanced summer holidays for schools to April 16 from scheduled date of April 24. Interestingly, below normal (-1.6 degree C to -3.0 degree Celsius) were recorded at most places over Jammu and Kashmir, at a time when several parts of India are witnessing high temperatures, the India Meteorological Department said.
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