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IMD Predicts Five-Day Heatwave for Northwest and East India

The heatwave is expected to affect parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Gangetic West Bengal.

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (The Street Press India) – Northwest and East India are set to experience another spell of extreme heat, with temperatures expected to increase by two to three degrees over the next five days, the India Meteorological Department announced on Monday.

In April and May, India faced several severe and prolonged heatwaves that strained human endurance and tested the country’s disaster preparedness. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha reported heatwave-related deaths during this period.

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“Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions are likely over northwest and east India during the next five days,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.

The heatwave is expected to affect parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Gangetic West Bengal, the Met office added.

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Experts attribute the extreme heat to the El Nino phenomenon, which involves unusual warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, and the rapidly increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Studies indicate that rapid urbanization has intensified the warming in cities, with outdoor workers and low-income households suffering the most.

In May, the heatwave saw numerous locations across the country, including the hills of Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh, record all-time high temperatures. The mercury soared past 50 degrees Celsius in Rajasthan and approached this mark in Delhi and Haryana.

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According to ‘World Weather Attribution’, a group of leading climate scientists, similar heatwaves could occur once every 30 years and have already become about 45 times more likely due to climate change.

There are also concerns that the heatwaves in April and May contributed to the lower-than-usual voter turnout during India’s seven-phase general elections, which began on April 19 and ended on June 1. This election period was the second longest after the 1951-52 parliamentary elections.

According to the Central Water Commission, water storage in 150 major reservoirs in India has dropped to just 22 percent of their live storage capacity this week. This decline is worsening water shortages in many states and significantly impacting hydropower generation.

The intense heat has driven India’s power demand to a record 246 gigawatts, as air conditioners and coolers in homes and offices run at full capacity.

From March to May, India recorded nearly 25,000 suspected heat stroke cases and 56 deaths due to heat-related illnesses, according to data from the health ministry reported by PTI.

According to data from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 46 of the 56 heat-related deaths occurred in May alone (up to May 30). Between May 1 and May 30, 19,189 suspected heat stroke cases were reported across the country.

The data does not include deaths from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Delhi, and may just be the tip of the iceberg, officials said on condition of anonymity.

Severe heatwaves have impacted many people in parts of India for three consecutive years, affecting health, water availability, agriculture, power generation, and other sectors of the economy.

A World Bank report indicates that India could account for 34 million of the projected 80 million global job losses due to heat stress-related productivity decline by 2030.

Studies also show that India faces annual food losses worth USD 13 billion, with only four percent of fresh produce covered by cold chain facilities.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press India, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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