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More deaths reported in India’s longest heat wave

  • June 11, 2024
  • 2 min read
More deaths reported in India’s longest heat wave

A severe heatwave has continued to rage across India as the eastern state of Odisha reported eight deaths within a 72-hour period. Official figures revealed that as many as 60 people died between March and May throughout India from heat-related causes. But the number could be even higher as many deaths are under-reported in the nation’s more rural areas.

Officials say that India is experiencing its longest heatwave ever, with temperatures passing 50C in many areas.

“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.

Parts of northern India have faced extreme-heat from the middle of May with temperatures in a number of cities hovering around 45-50C. Some areas have also been hit with water shortages as the extreme heat puts a massive strain on supplies.

Earlier in the month, at least 18 polling officials deployed  for the final phase of the general elections died from heat-related conditions in the states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, authorities reported. On the 31st of May, as many as 33 people died from suspected heatstroke in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha. Election officials were among them.

The monsoon, which hit the southern coast in the state of Kerala on 30th May is expected to bring some respite as it spreads to northern areas of India in the days to come.

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