Bhubaneswar: Intense heatwave continued to sweep most parts of the country on Thursday barring some states in the north with Telangana and Odisha together reporting 16 fresh sunstroke deaths.
Dry weather prevailed in Gangetic West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Vidharbha region in Maharashtra, Bihar, Jaharkhand, Uttara Pradesh. Mercury in the national capital soared to 40.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum in the city was 22.2 degrees Celsius. Talcher and Sonepur in Odisha recorded the maximum in the country at 45.4 degrees Celsius. Bhubaneswar braved the searing sun at 45.3 degrees Celsius.
The sunstroke toll in the state has mounted to 9 and the number of unconfirmed cases has shot to 119, State Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said. Telangana has reported 15 fresh heat-related deaths since Wednesday. The sunstroke toll in the state is now 137. Medak district has reported maximum 34, an official of the state’s disaster management department said. A senior official of IMD said there is marginal reduction of maximum temperatures in most parts of the state and it is likely to continue tomorrow also.
Kerala continued to sizzle with the temperature touching 41.7 degrees Celsius at Malampuzha in Palakkad district, the highest in the state for the third consecutive day. Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram recorded respective maximums at 39.2 degrees Celsius and 34.4 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government announced it would give Rs four lakh assistance to families of those who died due to the extreme weather conditions. It has also decided to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the state “drought hit”. Temperature in most parts of Gangetic West Bengal remained above 40 degrees Celsius, with Bankura recording the day’s highest at 44.5 degrees Celsius. Mercury touched 42.1 degrees, 41.3 degrees, 39 degrees at Asansol, Sriniketan and Burdwan, respectively.
Kolkata recorded the day’s highest at 37.1 degrees Celsius. The districts of Birbhum, Purulia and West Midnapore also sizzled under heatwave condition with the MeT department forecasting similar weather condition in the coming two days at least. In neighbouring Bihar, Gaya was the hottest at 44.1 degrees Celsius mark, followed by Bhagalpur 42.4 degrees Celsius and Purnia at 39.8 degree Celsius. Medninagar recorded the day’s maximum in Jharkhand at 44 degrees Celsius. Mercury elsewhere too hovered around 40 degrees mark with Rachi, Jamshedpur and Garhwa recording maximums at 43, 42.7 and 42 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In the north, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana also reeled under heat wave conditions. Banda in Uttar Pradesh was the hottest in the three states at 44.8 degrees Celsius. Hisar was the hottest in Punjab and Haryana at 41.5 degrees Celsius.