Heatwave Claims 25 Poll Officials Amid 40 Suspected Deaths Ahead Of Phase 7 Lok Sabha elections 2024 Voting

Heatwave Claims 25 Poll Officials Amid 40 Suspected Deaths Ahead Of Phase 7 Lok Sabha elections 2024 Voting

India on Friday reported at least 40 suspected heat-related deaths, with 25 of these fatalities among staff deployed on Lok Sabha poll duty in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, as heatwave conditions engulfed a significant part of the country. According to officials cited by news agency PTI, heat-related deaths were reported from Odisha (10), Bihar (8), Jharkhand (4), and Uttar Pradesh (1) on Thursday.

Rajasthan has recorded at least five heat-related deaths so far. On Friday, the maximum 17 deaths were from Uttar Pradesh, 14 from Bihar, five from Odisha, and four from Jharkhand, where more than 1,300 people are hospitalised with heatstroke conditions, PTI reported.

The soaring temperatures also exacerbated water scarcity in several regions, including Delhi. Residents faced acute shortages, with long queues forming as people struggled to secure enough water to meet their daily needs. “I stand in line from 4 am, but due to the crowd, I cannot reach the water tanker… It’s hard to get water,” said Vibha Devi, a resident of Delhi’s Geeta Colony, as quoted by PTI.

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Kanpur Records Country’s Highest Temperature At 48.2 Degrees Celsius

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that Kanpur (IAF) recorded the maximum temperature in the country at 48.2 degrees Celsius. Haryana’s Sirsa followed closely at 47.8 degrees Celsius, while Delhi’s Ayanagar recorded a high of 47 degrees Celsius. Overall, heatwave to severe heatwave conditions prevailed over many parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and east Madhya Pradesh. Isolated pockets in Odisha and Jharkhand also experienced similar conditions. The heatwave also affected parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Vidarbha, west Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.

“Heatwave conditions have been prevailing over Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi. These conditions are likely to abate during the next two-three days,” said the IMD.

ALSO READ | Bihar Heatwave: 10 Poll Personnel Among 14 Dead Due To Heatstroke Ahead Of LS Phase 7 Voting

At Least 15 Election Staff Dead In UP Dead Due To Suspected Heatstroke

In Uttar Pradesh, where 13 seats including Sonbhadra district and Mirzapur are going to polls on Saturday, officials reported that at least 15 election staff died from suspected heatstroke. Dr Raj Bahadur Kamal, the principal of Mirzapur’s Maa Vindhyavasini Autonomous State Medical College, told PTI that 13 poll staff died at the hospital. The deceased included seven home guard jawans, three sanitation workers, one clerk from the Chief Medical Officer’s office, one consolidation officer, and one peon in the home guard team. “They were brought to the facility with high fever and high blood pressure,” he added.

In Sonbhadra district, two polling staff died due to heat-related causes while nine personnel are being treated at a hospital, officials said. In Kaushambi, two people, including an elderly woman, succumbed to heat stroke on Thursday at the district hospital, as per PTI’s report.

In Bihar, where eight Lok Sabha seats are voting on Saturday, officials said fourteen people, including ten polling personnel, have died due to heatstroke in the past two days. Three election officials died in Rohtas, and one each in Kaimur and Aurangabad districts. Four other people died in different parts of the state. Due to the heatwave, all schools, coaching institutes, and anganwadi centres have been shut until 8 June, the report stated.

The Odisha government confirmed five sunstroke-related deaths so far, while an inquiry into 18 more casualties suspected to be linked to heat-related illness is underway. In Jharkhand, four persons died of sunstroke on Friday, and 1,326 others were admitted to hospital amid the sweltering heat.

“Four persons – three in Palamu and one in Jamshedpur – died of heatstroke in Jharkhand. These deaths did not occur in hospitals. As many as 1,326 people were admitted to hospitals in different districts of the state due to heat-related issues. Out of these, 63 are confirmed cases of heatstroke so far,” said Dr Alok Trivedi, Mission Director, National Health Mission (Jharkhand), to PTI.

Meanwhile, the IMD announced that the Southwest Monsoon has advanced into remaining parts of the northeast Bay of Bengal and some parts of the northwest Bay of Bengal, covering remaining parts of Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, and most parts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.

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