Photo: AP
Photo: AP

IMD warns eight states to prepare for heat-wave conditions

India Meteorological Department has forecast that temperatures will soar above normal between April and June

New Delhi: Heat waves that killed 2,035 people last year in India are back. At least eight states will face heat-wave conditions in the next two days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast on Thursday. Haryana, Cha-ndigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Marat-hwada, Vidarbha, Telangana, Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu will be affected, the IMD said.

On Thursday, the highest maximum temperature recorded was 45 degrees Celsius in Odisha where, according to officials, 30 casualties due to heat waves were reported as of Thursday. “We are carrying out inquiries to see if these were indeed heat-wave related," said P.K Mohapatra, special relief commissioner, Odisha.

“The state has seen unusually high temperatures this year since February, and temperatures this week went up to 45.8 degrees C, which is the highest recorded in 100 years," he said.

Heat-wave warnings have been sent out to the public, buses are equipped with first-aid kits and heat-stroke treatment wards have been set up in government hospitals and community health centres, he added.

Maximum temperatures are likely to rise by 2-4 degrees C over the plains of north-west India, by 2-3 degrees C over central India and by 1-2 degrees C over west India, Telangana and Rayalaseema during the next two to three days, the IMD said.

Globally, 2001-10 has been the warmest decade. All-India mean temperature has risen nearly around 0.60 degrees C over the past 110 years in line with the rising temperature across the world. Out of last year’s heat-wave deaths in India, more than half were in Andhra Pradesh.

“We have taken measures to prevent casualties this year. We have awareness campaigns advising people to stay indoors and drink water, and other such dos and don’ts," said Navin Mittal, commissioner and secretary of information and public relations department in Telangana.

Telangana has so far confirmed 35 deaths due to the heat wave, revenue department principal secretary B.R. Meena said.

“Transporting drinking water to areas where shortage is being faced is one of the priorities," said Mittal.

Ensuring availability of potable water is a major concern in Odisha, according to Mohapatra.

In its first summer forecast in April, the IMD forecast that temperatures across the country will soar above normal between April and June, with the north-west set to experience a particulary hot summer.

“Around two more months remain before the monsoon starts; until then, temperatures are likely to remain very high. We need to be watchful," Mohapatra said.

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