North India Sizzles At 44-46°C, Delhi Hospitals Swamped With Heat Stroke Patients

North India Sizzles At 44-46°C, Delhi Hospitals Swamped With Heat Stroke Patients

North India Sizzles At 44-46°C, Delhi Hospitals Swamped With Heat Stroke Patients


 Large parts of northern and eastern India remained in the grip of a sweltering heat wave on Tuesday, driving power demands to record highs. Warmer-than-usual nights have further exacerbated people’s distress, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported. Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions prevailed in parts of Uttar Pradesh, south Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab, and pockets of north Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, and the Jammu division.

Maximum temperatures ranged from 44 to 46 degrees Celsius in many parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and some parts of north Madhya Pradesh, south Bihar, and north Rajasthan.

The blistering heat has left a large number of people scrambling for water, with storage levels in reservoirs and rivers hitting record lows. The shortage of water for irrigation is impacting agriculture in some areas. Power grids are under immense pressure, and there has been an increase in incidents of short circuits and fires.

ALSO READ | Delhi Heatwave: Capital’s Power Demand Hits Record High Of 8,647 MW Amidst Scorching Temperatures

Delhi Sees Influx Of Patients With Complaints Of Heat Stroke With Maximum Temperature Of 44 Degrees Celsius

Delhi, facing a severe water crisis, recorded a maximum temperature of 44 degrees Celsius, over five notches above normal. The minimum temperature in the city was 33.8 degrees Celsius, at least six notches above what is typical for this time of the year. The national capital’s peak power demand on Tuesday afternoon reached 8,647 MW, the highest ever for the city. Officials attributed the record rise in power demand to the increased use of air conditioners and other cooling appliances amid the relentless heat wave.

Hospitals in Delhi-NCR have seen an influx of patients with complaints of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Doctors are advising the elderly and immuno-compromised individuals to avoid stepping outdoors. IMD officials highlighted that high minimum temperatures, or warm nights, are exacerbating the impact of the deadly heat.

Environmental expert Sunita Narain expressed concern, stating, “This is scaring me. The minimum temperature in cities is not going down. People are not getting a chance to recover which means that we are getting more deaths at night than during the daytime because normally the minimum temperature would fall and you would be able to recover to go back to work the next day, just not getting that”, as quoted by news agency PTI.

India is experiencing one of its hottest summers on record, with multiple heat waves pushing millions to their limits. Many states have reported heat-related deaths. The IMD noted that around 40 per cent of the country has recorded double the number of heat wave days than usual.

ALSO READ | Relief In Sight For Heatwave-Baked North India? Here’s What The Weather Dept Says

Sangaria Hottest Place In Rajasthan With Maximum Temperature Of 44.9 Degrees Celsius

In Rajasthan, Sangaria was the hottest place in the state, with a maximum temperature of 44.9 degrees Celsius. Night temperatures in all cities of the state were two to 7.3 degrees higher than normal. Rajasthan has hit 50 degrees Celsius twice over the last few weeks, and Delhi has recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius for 36 consecutive days.

The IMD also forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Assam, and Meghalaya during the next two days.

NCDC Data Reveals 46 Heat-Related Deaths, Over 19,000 Cases Of Suspected Heat Stroke In May

Data compiled by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed 46 heat-related deaths and over 19,000 cases of suspected heat stroke in the country in May, PTI reported. Officials noted that this data does not include deaths from many states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Delhi, indicating the figures could be much higher.

According to PTI, experts attribute the scorching heat to climate change and the El Niño phenomenon, an unusual warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. While heat waves are common in India during April and May, scientists say climate change has made them more frequent and intense. The World Weather Attribution Group reported that similar heat waves, which once occurred every 30 years, have become about 45 times more likely due to climate change.

Urban regions like Delhi-NCR have become heat chambers due to the loss of green cover and water bodies and rampant concretisation, which causes a heat multiplier effect. Severe and frequent heat waves have a bigger impact on low-income households, which often have limited capacity to deal with extreme heat due to poor access to water and electricity. The design and construction of informal houses often result in poor ventilation and little shelter from the heat.

Outdoor workers are forced to take frequent breaks, leading to a loss of income. A survey conducted by Greenpeace India and the National Hawker Federation found that over 80 per cent of street vendors in Delhi reported a decline in customers during heatwave days in April and May, with around 50 per cent experiencing significant income loss, PTI reported.

Governments are taking measures to ensure that the less privileged have access to water and electricity. Immediate response measures include sending water-filled tankers to places grappling with water shortages and increasing gas-fired power generation to avoid power cuts. Long-term measures involve updating heat action plans, identifying vulnerable communities, and implementing solutions such as cool roofing, improving green cover, and recharging water bodies. Subsidised rooftop solar systems are also being installed to help households not yet connected to the power grid access electricity.


Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus ( )