Brutal heatwave sweeps India, mercury past 45-mark amid power crisis: 10 points
Heatwave and power cuts: While the weather office warns of mercury surge, the power demand is also expected to rise further.
Amid unprecedented heatwave, several states are also facing power cuts - linked to deepening coal shortage crisis - that have disrupted normal life for tens of thousands. In the national capital, Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday held an emergency meeting, and urged the central government to ensure adequate coal supply. Power cuts have also been reported in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana as mercury continues to rise.
Here are ten points on heatwaves and power cuts in India:
1. Power supply to metro services and hospitals in Delhi is likely to be affected. "Due to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, there may be a problem in 24-hours power supply to many essential institutions, including Delhi Metro and Delhi government hospitals," a government statement read on Thursday.
2. Delhi has been seeing temperatures soaring past 40 degrees Celsius for several days and are forecast to linger around 44 degrees until Sunday. Rain is not expected to arrive before June.
3. The heatwave will intensify in the next five days, with the IMD issuing an “orange” alert for five states, including Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. In Haryana, Gurgaon sizzled at 45.6 degree celsius on Thursday for the first time in April.
4. Rajasthan has also scheduled power cuts for factories to cope with the surging demand. "In view of the present power crisis, .. it has been decided to impose scheduled cuts," a state utility was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
5. While the weather office warns of mercury surge, the power demand is also expected to rise further.
6. In the western state of Gujarat, officials are set to tackle a potential spike in patients. "We have issued an advisory to hospitals to set up special wards for heat stroke and other heat-related diseases due to the rise in temperatures," Gujarat's health secretary Manoj Aggarwal told Reuters.
7. More than 6,000 people in India have died due to heat waves since 2010, according to news agency AFP.
8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday issued a stark warning on rising temperatures. "Temperatures are rising rapidly… and much earlier than usual. During such a time, we are seeing increasing incidents of fires in various places - jungles, important buildings and hospitals - in the past days," the prime minister said.
9. Water shortage is also likely to hit farmers hard as temperatures continue to shoot up.
10. Earlier, fears over outages linked to coal shortage had emerged in the country in October.
(With inputs from AFP, Reuters)