NEW DELHI — The severe heat wave sweeping India has claimed over 1000 lives, with the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana alone recording 852 and 266 deaths each.
PTI reported there were 202 deaths in Prakasam district of AP. In Guntur district 130 person have succumbed to the heat wave so far, followed by Visakhapatnam (112), Vizianagaram (78) and Nellore (74), according to the figures available last evening, Special Commissioner for Disaster Management Tulsi Rani told PTI.
According to the MeT department, severe heat wave conditions prevailed today over many parts including Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasham and Nellore districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The heat wave conditions would prevail in some parts of Kurnool and Chittoor districts of Rayalaseema, it predicted.
Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister N Chinna Rajappa said the state government will pay an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of the victims. The government had issued an alert to doctors to be ready to provide medical assistance to the heat wave-affected people, he said.
Similar conditions prevailed in other states as well.
In Odisha, Titlagarh town recorded 47.6 degrees Celsius and the state government said four people have died due to sunstroke. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said eight cities in the state recorded maximum temperatures of above 45 degrees, reported IANS.
In Haryana and Punjab, maximum temperatures have varied between 41-45 degrees Celsius at most places. Searing heat prevailed at Chandigarh, Hisar, Karnal, Bhiwani, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala.
Normal life remained was affected in parts of Rajasthan. Kota was hottest place in the state, recording a maximum temperature of 45.8 degree celsius followed by Jaipur which sizzled at 44.7 degrees celsius.
No respite from the blistering heat is foreseen in the next 24 hours, the Met department said.
Heat wave conditions prevailed in various places of Uttar Pradesh as well, with Allahabad recording the highest temperature of 46.4 degree celsius.
Treat heat wave as a natural disaster.
G Pramod Kumar, writing for Firstpost, said it’s time to think about heatwave as a natural disaster and put in place preventive and mitigatory steps.
"It’s time to think about summer shelters for the homeless and those who are out in the sun, and distribution of relief supplies so that the poor can avoid hazardous labour. Also required are new safety standards, that also take into account the perils of summer heat, for work that involves exposure to sun," he wrote.
In his report, Kumar said other than the casual advice, the state governments have done nothing to mitigate the impact of this disaster.
What is a heat wave?
According to the National Disaster Management Authority Of India, a heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India. Heat Waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
Typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
The signs and symptoms are:
Heat Cramps: Ederna (swelling) and Syncope (Fainting) generally accompanied by fever below 39*C i.e.102*F.
Heat Exhaustion: Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
Heat Stoke: Body temperatures of 40*C i.e. 104*F or more along with delirium, seizures or coma. This is a potential fatal condition.
(With inputs from agencies)