Bhopal/Lucknow: With the rising temperature in the northern, western and central parts of India, the lives of many have come to a standstill, as people cannot go out and are forced to stay indoors to save themselves from one of the deadliest heat waves the country has experienced in the last few years.
According to the India Meteorological Department, heat wave conditions were observed in many parts of eastern Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Heat wave conditions were also observed in many parts over Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region and in isolated pockets over western Madhya Pradesh. The IMD has also predicted severe heat wave conditions in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Vidarbha, and heat wave conditions in north Haryana, south Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the next three days.
With Rajasthan’s Churu recording the highest maximum temperature of 48.0 degree Celsius, Nagpur and Jhansi recorded the second highest temperature of 46.6 degree Celsius in the last 24 hours.
The heat wave in Madhya Pradesh intensified in the past 24 hours, and the state saw three heat-related deaths in three days. The state has been facing severe heat waves and has been witnessing temperatures of above 45 degrees Celsius at most places. The mercury even touched 47 degrees Celsius at Damoh and Khargone. Recently, a 55-year-old head constable in Government Railway Police died due to heat stroke.
In another incident on Tuesday, a 65-year-old man was found dead in his field in Sheopur. ASI Ram Varan Singh Tomar said that the deceased was found in his field with no injury marks on the body. He has been identified as Prahlad Khatik (65) from Ladpura village. It seems he fainted due to excessive heat and died on the spot. Meanwhile, in a similar incident from the same district, 19-year-old Giriraj Bairwa was found dead in Panwad village. Physicians confirmed dehydration as the cause of death.
According to the Regional Meteorological Department, Nagpur, Madhya Pradesh's Guna, Sagar, Damoh, Chhatarpur, and Sheopur witnessed heat waves and these areas saw scorching temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius. Guna, Sagar, Damoh, Nagaon, and Khajuraho touched 47 degree Celsius in the last 24 hours. The Met department has issued severe heat wave warning for cities like Bhopal, Sehore, Vidisha, Hoshangabad, Khandwa, Khargone, Shajapur, Ujjain and Tikamgarh. The department highlighted that Panna, Chhatarpur, Damoh, Rajgarh, and Raisen may witness extreme heat waves in the next 24 hours. Stating that severe heatwave conditions might persist for two days, the department has advised citizens to avoid exposure to heat and dehydration.
In Uttar Pradesh, seven people have died in different parts of the state due to sweltering heat. The Bundelkhand area is reeling under an acute water crisis and the government has ordered for arrangements to be made for drinking water. The water level of the Gomti river in Lucknow has dipped by several feet and the water supply in Lucknow has been affected. In Shankargarh area of Allahabad, people have started migrating to other places due to water scarcity.
Dry winds and high mercury have intensified the plight of people in the state. According to the IMD, Banda on Thursday was the hottest place at 47.2 degrees Celsius, followed by Jhansi at 47 degrees Celsius, both five degrees above normal.
Agra reeled at 45.5 degrees Celsius while Allahabad recorded a high of 44.7 degrees Celsius.
The meteorological department has issued a warning for dust storms or thunderstorms at isolated places over western Uttar Pradesh.
The east too suffers
The prevailing weather condition is unlikely to change much in the coming days in Bihar and as a result, people will have to face acute weather conditions.
According to IMD officials, there is no sign of any rain in Bihar in the coming days. Though neighbouring states like West Bengal and Odisha will receive rainfall, it will not give respite to the people of Bihar, except for a minimal decrease in temperatures.
The maximum temperature in Bihar remained at 40 degrees Celsius, forcing people to remain indoors. Dry weather has also caused depletion in water levels and as a result of this, many parts of Bihar are facing water scarcity.
In Odisha, the heat wave condition intensified with the mercury soaring over 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of the western Odisha. According to the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre weather bulletin, 11 places of Odisha had sizzled over the 40 degrees Celsius mark.
Haryana prepares in advance
The heat wave swept most parts of Haryana, and Narnaul district recorded the highest temperature at 44.5 degrees Celsius.
Anticipating a flood of people coming to the state’s largest health institute, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak, authorities here have set up a special emergency room to deal with such patients.
Dr VK Katyal, Head of Department of Medicine at PGIMS Rohtak, said that patients with extreme fever, body aches, weakness and giddiness are coming to the institute's OPDs. The elderly people and newborns are more prone to the effects of the heat wave, he said. "To tide over the situation, we have set up a resuscitation room equipped with facilities like air conditioner and other fluids,” Katyal added. He said that people are advised to keep themselves hydrated with fluids like water and juice, while avoiding exposure to the sun as much as possible.
Ram Kumar, a 62-year-old man who was rushed to PGIMS Rohtak on Thursday, said that he had passed out while working in the field in the morning and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. "Unbearable heat made me lose consciousness all of a sudden. Thankfully, other farmers spotted me and took me to the hospital,” he added.
Dr Dinesh Khosla, a pediatrician in Rohtak, said that the coming weeks are going to take a toll on the health of infants who may have to face sun exposure. He said that fever and diarrhoea are common ailments with which they come to nursing homes.
Heat wave does not spare the hills
As people across north India are suffering in the scorching heat, the hill state of Uttarakhand has not remained untouched. In the last week, the temperature in the state has gone above normal not only in the plains but also in the hilly areas. The state's capital Dehradun recorded its hottest day on 31 May at 40.4 degree Celsius. Pantnagar’s maximum temperature was 40.07 degrees Celsius on 29 May.
Vikram Singh, director of the regional Met office, said that the state recorded the highest temperature during the last two days of the month of May. He said that on 5 June, a maximum of 39.3 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal, was recorded in Dehradun. Singh said that there may be light rain in some places in the state in the next two days, but people will not get relief from the heat immediately.
(The authors are freelance writers and members of 101Reporters.com)
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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2019 09:48:59 IST