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Heatwave grips Rajasthan, temperature soars up to 48.8 degrees celsius in Barmer

Amid the prevailing heatwaves across the India, soaring temperatures are stressing power grids, depleting water reserves, and posing severe health risks, particularly for vulnerable populations and outdoor workers.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar Barmer Published on: May 23, 2024 23:59 IST
Image Source : PTI Severe heatwaves prevailed in parts of India

Amid the prevailing heatwave conditions across the country, Rajasthan's Barmer reported 48.8 degrees Celsius —the highest in the country so far this year. According to official data, at least 16 locations across Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh reported maximum temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius or above on Thursday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that this brutal heat wave is expected to persist for at least five more days. In Rajasthan, several cities reported extreme temperatures: Churu at 47.4 degrees Celsius, Phalodi at 47.8 degrees, and Jaisalmer at 47.2 degrees. Similarly, other regions faced severe heat, with Guna in Madhya Pradesh reaching 46.6 degrees, Ahmedabad in Gujarat at 45.9 degrees, and Orai in Uttar Pradesh at 45 degrees. Bathinda in Punjab and Sirsa in Haryana both recorded temperatures of 45.4 degrees.

In Delhi, although the maximum temperature dipped slightly on Thursday, it remained above normal for this time of year, registering 41 degrees Celsius—0.8 degrees higher than usual. The IMD issued a 'red' warning for Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and west Uttar Pradesh, highlighting a "very high likelihood" of heat illness and heatstroke across all age groups.

Meanwhile, the severe heat is also straining power grids and depleting water reserves. The Central Water Commission reported that water storage in 150 major reservoirs has dropped to its lowest level in five years, intensifying water shortages and impacting hydropower generation.

The heat wave is also putting enormous pressure on low-income households, which often lack adequate access to water and cooling facilities. According to experts, outdoor workers, the elderly, and children are at heightened risk of heat-related illnesses. The World Health Organization has reported that over 1,66,000 people died from heat waves between 1998 and 2017, underscoring the deadly impact of such extreme weather.


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