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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Heat Kills More Than 50 People In India On Three Days

A man covers his face with a cloth to protect himself from the heat

Report from New Delhi, the capital of India says, more than 50 people have died in India, over the past three days, as a brutal heat spell continues to grip parts of the country.

Around 33 people died in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh over the weekend due to the heat.

These included people involved in the general election, including polling officials, security guards and sanitation staff – Saturday was the last phase of voting.

In Odisha (Orissa) state, about 20 people died due to heat stroke, officials said.

Every five years, India holds its general election in the summer months of April and May.

But this year, the temperatures have been record-breaking, with the country experiencing frequent, more intense and longer heatwaves.

The federal health ministry says that there have been at least 56 confirmed heat strokes deaths from 1 March to 30 May. About 24,849 heatstroke cases were reported during the period.

However, state-wise figures suggest the actual number could be much higher.

In Odisha, district authorities reported 99 suspected heat stroke deaths in the past 72 hours – of these, 20 cases have been confirmed, the state’s Special Relief Commissioner said in a statement.

Read Also: Intense Heat Wave Reportedly Hits Indian voters

In Uttar Pradesh, Navdeep Rinwa, chief electoral officer of the state, told reporters that the families of deceased election personnel would be given a monetary compensation of 1.5m rupees ($18,000; £14,000).

Mr Rinwa said that a man who was standing in the queue to vote fainted because of the heat.

“The voter was transported to a health facility, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival,” he said.

Suspected heat-related deaths have also been reported from the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

India’s National Centre for Disease Control calls heat strokes a “life-threatening” condition with a mortality rate of 40-64%.

The heat in northern and central India and parts of the west has been unrelenting for the past two weeks, with maximum temperatures hovering around 45-46C for days at a stretch and even climbing up to 50C in some areas.

However, India’s weather department says that temperatures are likely to fall in the coming days due to the onset of the monsoon.

Several regions are experiencing severe water and electricity shortages due to a rise in power consumption.

Videos from capital Delhi show people jostling for water from water tankers. Many parts of the capital are also experiencing frequent power cuts. — BBC

Source: BBC via SG.

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