Heat Wave In India’s Odisha Kills 8 In 72 hours

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Heat Wave In India’s Odisha Kills 8 In 72 hours

A severe heat wave in India’s Odisha continues to wreak havoc as the eastern state reported eight deaths within a 72-hour period.

Heat Wave In India's Odisha Kills 8 In 72 hours

Rising Death Toll and Underreporting

Official figures released in May suggested 60 people died between March and May across India due to heat-related illnesses. However, the actual number is likely much higher as many heat-related deaths go under-reported in rural areas.

Authorities confirm India is experiencing its longest heatwave ever, with temperatures surpassing 50°C in some areas recently. “This has been the longest spell because it has been experienced for about 24 days in different parts of the country,” Mrutyunjay Mohapatra of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) told the Indian Express newspaper.

Extreme Heat Across Northern India

Parts of northern India have been enduring extreme heat since mid-May, with temperatures ranging between 45-50°C in several cities. The intense heat has also led to severe water shortages, with high temperatures placing immense pressure on water supplies.

Earlier this month, at least 18 polling officials deployed for the final phase of the general elections died of heat-related illnesses in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states. On 31 May, at least 33 people, including election officials, died of suspected heatstroke in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha.

The situation is dire, and the IMD has predicted heatwave conditions for northwest and eastern India for the next five days.

Monsoon Brings Hope

The monsoon, which hit India’s southern coast in Kerala state on 30 May, is expected to bring some relief as it spreads to northern parts of the country in the coming days. The IMD has predicted an above-average monsoon season for the country this year.

However, Mr. Mohapatra cautioned that “heatwaves will be more frequent, durable and intense if precautionary or preventive measures are not taken.” The weather office’s prediction underscores the need for immediate action to combat the effects of extreme heat.

The current heat wave is a stark reminder of the urgent need for better infrastructure, improved water management, and increased awareness about the dangers of extreme heat. As the monsoon season approaches, there is hope for some respite, but the challenge of managing the impacts of extreme weather remains.

As the heat wave in India’s Odisha continues, the country must take proactive measures to protect its population from the dangers of extreme heat and ensure that such tragedies do not repeat in the future.

Also Read: Decade Old Landfill Is Leading Onto The Napa River Pollution

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  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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