Delhi is ‘unbearable’ as temperatures rise above 50°C

Meryl Sebastian,Kathryn Armstrong

Getty Images Visitors at India Gate during warm weather on May 26, 2024 in New Delhi, India. fake images

India’s meteorological office has issued a severe heat wave alert for parts of the Indian capital, Delhi.

Parts of northern and central India are gripped by a severe heatwave, with a provisional record temperature of 52.3°C (126.1°F) recorded in Delhi.

If verified, it would be the highest ever recorded in India.

More than 37 cities Temperatures above 45°C were recorded in the country this week.

Warnings have been issued about heat-related illnesses and at least three deaths have been reported so far.

Getty Images A trader selling table fans waits for customers at a market on a hot summer day in Varanasi on May 27, 2024.fake images

Heat wave conditions are expected to persist in several parts of India for the next few days.

Soma Sen Roy of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) told the BBC that a team had been sent to the Mungeshpur area of ​​Delhi, where the temperature of 52.3°C was recorded, to verify it.

The IMD described the recording as an “outlier compared to other stations”, which had recorded temperatures ranging between 45.2 °C and 49.1 °C in different parts of Delhi.

City authorities have warned they will impose fines on those caught wasting water, as the city faces shortages and supplies have been cut in some areas.

Water Minister Atishi announced that 200 teams would be deployed to crack down on people who wash their cars with hoses and let their tanks overflow.

“It has been unbearably hot for the last few days and has gotten significantly worse as the days go by,” said BBC business correspondent Arunoday Mukharji, who is in Delhi.

One resident told news agency ANI earlier in the week that it was difficult to even eat properly due to the heat.

“We have also faced the heat before, but this time it is unbearable,” they said.

“It’s hard to even stay outside.”

The city’s energy demand has skyrocketed to an all-time high, with residents turning to air conditioning, refrigerators and ceiling fans to cope with the heat.

A consumer court adjourned hearing cases on Tuesday after the judge said it was too hot to work without air conditioning.

Getty Images A construction worker quenches his thirst while taking a break, amid the ongoing intense heat wave on a hot summer day along the bank of the Yamuna River in New Delhi.fake images

Temperatures have reached record highs in parts of northern India

Red alerts have been issued for several parts of northwest India, including Delhi, meaning there is a very high chance of people developing heat illnesses and heatstroke.

Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, a family doctor in Delhi, told the BBC World Service that medical consultations had increased during the heatwave.

He said the impact of high temperatures was worst on older people who have pre-existing conditions, as well as “some of the poorer and migrant workers who work on construction sites and elsewhere.”

Delhi’s lieutenant governor ordered that workers at construction sites be given a three-hour paid break and asked that they be provided with water.

He has also requested that containers with drinking water be provided at bus stops.

IMD regional chief Kuldeep Srivastava said the reason behind the rise in temperatures in Delhi was the arrival of warm winds from the state of Rajasthan.

Elsewhere, the towns of Churu in Rajasthan and Sirsa in the northern state of Haryana have recorded temperatures above 50°C.

The city of Jaipur, in Rajasthan, reported three deaths due to heat stroke on Tuesday.

Several students were rushed to the hospital in the town of Sheikhpura, in the eastern state of Bihar, after fainting due to high temperatures, local media reported.

In Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, efforts continue to tackle a series of forest fires that are being fueled by the heat.

Getty Images A vendor with an umbrella over his head talks on his mobile phone while wiping his face with a cloth on a hot summer day in Varanasi on May 27, 2024.fake images

Met Office predicts more heat wave days in June

According to IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, maximum temperatures are likely to remain above normal in June.

It added that northwest India is expected to experience heatwave conditions for four to six days.

Indian summers, which last from March to September, are usually hot and humid.

But the meteorological department has said the country is likely to experience longer and more intense heat waves this year.

This month, the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat suffered between nine and 12 days of heatwave, with temperatures between 45 and 50°C, he said.

Scientists have said that global warming has made extreme heat waves in India much more likely.

In Delhi, construction, traffic and lack of green spaces have added to the problem.

The extreme heat comes as the coastal areas of eastern India and southern Bangladesh were hit by Cyclone Remal – killing dozens of people.

Meanwhile, the IMD has also predicted an above-average monsoon season for the country this year.

The monsoon is expected to hit the coast of the southern state of Kerala on May 31.

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