Odisha continued to swelter under the heat wave on Friday, registering the season’s highest temperature of 47 degrees Celsius at Titlagarh in the last 24 hours.
Around 66 heat-related deaths were reported in the state, although only one has been attributed to sunstroke by the Naveen Patnaik government so far.
“The heat wave is likely to prevail over interior Odisha, and one or two places in its coastal region, at least until April 25. The weather is likely to be dry across the state,” said SC Sahu, director of Indian Meteorological Department’s Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre.
At least 16 urban centres in the state clocked over 40 degrees Celsius, nine of them over the 45 mark, in the last 24 hours. Met officials said Friday’s temperature was expected to be as high as that of Thursday. Till 11.30 am, at least four urban centres recorded over 40 degrees Celsius.
The summer hit Odisha earlier than expected this year. Since mid-February, the state government has been asking district authorities to ensure adequate water supply and stock essential medicines to tackle the heat wave.
When asked to comment on the 66 deaths reported from the state, state deputy special relief commissioner PR Mohapatra said, “We have completed an inquiry on 18 of the deaths. While one was found to have fallen victim to sunstroke, the others died due to other reasons.”