India News

Extreme heat kills at least 25 in India’s Maharashtra state

A girl selling water uses an umbrella to protect herself from the sun as she waits for customers on a hot summer day, in New Delhi, India, April 27, 2022. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

NEW DELHI, May 3 – India’s western state of Maharashtra has registered 25 deaths from heat stroke since late March, the highest toll in the past five years, with more fatalities likely elsewhere in a country sweltering in temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius.

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Scientists have linked the early onset of an intense summer to climate change, and say more than a billion people in India and neighbouring Pakistan were in some way vulnerable to the extreme heat.

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With cooling monsoon rains only expected next month and increasingly frequent power outages in some parts of India, even households that can afford air conditioners will have little respite over the next several weeks. read more

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Many of the deaths in Maharashtra occurred in the more rural areas of India’s richest state.

“These are suspected heat stroke deaths,” Pradeep Awate, a Maharashtra health official, told Reuters.

India is the world’s second-biggest wheat producer, but the heat is set to shrivel this year’s crop, after five consecutive years of record harvests. read more

As power demand surges, generating companies are staring at massive shortages of coal and the government is pleading with them to step up imports. read more

Reuters Graphics
Reuters Graphics
Parts of south Asia are facing an extreme heat wave that began in March as temperatures rose several degrees above normal
Parts of south Asia are facing an extreme heat wave that began in March as temperatures rose several degrees above normal

India recorded its warmest March in over a century, with the maximum temperature across the country rising to 33.1 degrees Celsius, nearly 1.86 degrees above normal, according to the India Meteorological Department. Many parts of India’s north, west and the east saw temperatures surging past 40C last month. read more

In the eastern state of Odisha, authorities said a 64-year-old man died of heat stroke on April 25 and hundreds of others have been given medical treatment.

In Subarnapur, Odisha’s hottest district, a high of 43.2 degree Celsius was recorded on Tuesday.

“It is so hot,” Subarnapur resident Mohana Mahakur said. “Fan, air cooler – nothing is working.”

Reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal in NEW DELHI and Jatindra Dash in BHUBANESWAR; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

REUTERS

MAY 3, 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/india/extreme-heat-kills-least-25-indias-maharashtra-state-2022-05-03/

Categories: India News

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