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Heatwave in India: Mercury in Rajasthan's Bundi district touches 45 degrees

In wake of the extreme weather, several states have revised the school timings while others have preponed the summer vacation

Heatwave, Heatwaves in India

Women use umbrellas to protect themselves from the heat on a hot summer day, in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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As most parts of India are experiencing heatwave conditions, Rajasthan has recorded a maximum temperature above 45 degrees Celcius.

Witnessing extremely hot weather, Rajasthan's Bundi city clocked 45.2 degrees Celcius, according to private weather forecasting agency Skymet. This is the first above 45 degrees recorded for the season.

It has been advised to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and to have plenty of water, even if not thirsty, to avoid dehydration.  

A recent study has suggested that heatwaves in India are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change, with over 90 per cent of the country in the "extremely cautious" or "danger zone" of their impacts.

The mercury has been soaring in other states too. The temperature has risen to above 40 degrees Celsius in Haryana's Hisar, Punjab's Bathinda and Patiala, and the Gangetic West Bengal, the Met Department said.

It has also been predicted that severe heatwave conditions in isolated pockets in Gangetic West Bengal will prevail for the next two days.

In wake of the extreme weather, several states have revised the school timings while others have preponed the summer vacation.

The severity of the heatwave can be estimated by a recent event in Maharashtra; as many as thirteen people died from heatstroke at a state government award function in Navi Mumbai. This marks the highest number of deaths from a single heatwave in the country.

According to a research paper, in the last 50 years, heatwaves have claimed over 17,000 lives. The paper was published in 2021 and it said that there had been 706 heatwave incidents in the country from 1971-2019.

A recent study published in PLOS Climate by Ramit Debnath at the University of Cambridge warned that if India fails to address the impact of heatwaves immediately, it could slow progress towards achieving sustainable development goals.

The study also highlighted that the current heat-action plans designed and implemented according to the Delhi government's vulnerability assessment do not include Heat Index (HI) estimations, which is concerning since even the "low" climate-vulnerable areas in Delhi are at high heatwave risks.

The threshold for a heatwave is met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, at least 37 degrees Celsius in coastal areas, and at least 30 degrees Celsius in hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius.

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First Published: Apr 20 2023 | 3:34 PM IST

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