Soaring temperatures put 330 million at risk, says govt
Soaring temperatures in a heat wave sweeping the country have claimed 160 lives and are expected to affect 330 million people, a government report submitted in the Supreme Court revealed.
Around 80% of the deaths were reported in the three coastal states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where more than 1,500 people died in the summer of 2015. Jharkhand joined the list of affected states after three people died on Saturday.
National Crime Records Bureau data show that Indian summers are the biggest cause of death after road accidents, claiming 22,500 lives since 1992.
The situation this year is worse considering temperatures usual for May-June have already been breached across India — it is the hottest April ever recorded. The India Meteorological Department has predicted temperatures between April and June will be warmer than usual.
A prediction that higher-than-normal temperatures and heat wave conditions will sweep central and northwest India too came true as temperature in Titlagarh in Odisha touched 48 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Sonepur recorded a blistering 46.3 degrees Celsius. At least 79 people are said to have died due to sunstroke here.
Most of western Odisha is in the grip of an intense heat wave, with temperature hovering around 44 degrees Celsius.
In addition to the three coastal states, parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are reeling from extreme weather conditions. In view of the ongoing water crisis and hot weather conditions, Union minister Suresh Prabhu allowed drawing water from a railway reservoir for Thane in Maharashtra.
Bramhapuri town in Maharasthra’s Chandrapur district recorded a high of 46 degrees Celsius. Chandrapur recorded a high of 45 degrees Celsius, Nagpur 44.8 degrees Celsius and Wardha 44.2 degrees Celsius.
In poll-bound West Bengal, where violence has flared political tempers, temperature too is on the rise.
The national capital will feel the effects of the sweltering summer with the temperature expected to rise from 37 degrees Celsius to 44 degrees Celsius by the end of the month. The minimum temperature, however, is predicted to stay around 24 degrees Celsius for the rest of April.
Hisar in Haryana recorded a high of 40 degrees Celsius, while it was 38.1 degree Celsius in Ambala. Chandigarh was relatively cooler at 37.5 degrees Celsius after a drizzle. Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab had a high of 38 degrees Celsius while Amirtsar was 35.3 degree Celsius.
Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh sweltered at 44 degrees Celsius.