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Delhi burns at 52.9°C

Highest ever in Capital | IMD doesn’t rule out sensor error

Delhi burns at 52.9°C

A woman crosses Kartavya Path in New Delhi on a sweltering Wednesday. MUKESH AGGARWAL

Tribune News Service

Aksheev Thakur

New Delhi, May 29

National capital Delhi recorded its highest-ever temperature of 52.9 degrees Celsius at Delhi’s Mungeshpur weather station today even as the government and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) didn’t rule out the possibility of a sensor error behind the unprecedented reading.

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“The maximum temperature in Delhi-NCR varied from 45.2 to 49.1 degrees Celsius in different parts of the city. Mungeshpur reported 52.9 degrees Celsius as an outlier compared to other stations. It could be due to a sensor error or some local factor. We are examining the data and sensors,” the IMD said in a statement.

Responding to the development, Union Minister for Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju said, “It’s not official yet. The temperature of 52.3 degrees Celsius in Delhi is very unlikely. Senior IMD officials have been asked to verify the report. The official position will be stated soon.”

Delhi’s primary weather station Safdarjung observatory recorded the maximum temperature of 46.8 degrees Celsius, missing breaching its previous all-time high of 47.2 degrees Celsius, which was logged on May 29, 1994. The IMD has issued a red alert health notice for Delhi, warning there is a “very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heatstroke in all ages”.

The national capital also witnessed isolated rainfall, which brought slight relief in some parts. IMD officials said the soaring temperatures in northwest India, including Delhi, would ease from Thursday. The heatwave conditions have been prevailing over several parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, IMD Director General, said, “Heatwave conditions have prevailed over northwest and central India from May 16 onwards due to the absence of western disturbances. The conditions are expected to ease a bit after May 30. In June, we are expecting such extreme weather to persist over northwest India for only four to seven days against the normal of three days.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi Jal Board has announced that they would slap a challan worth Rs 2,000 on anyone found wasting water. Delhi L-G VK Saxena also directed for paid leave to labourers at construction sites from 12 noon to 3 pm. The labourers should also be provided water and coconut water, he said. The power demand in Delhi too touched an all-time high of 8,302 MW, the previous high of 8,000 MW being on May 22.

India declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature is 4.5 to 6.4 degrees Celsius above normal. A severe heatwave is declared when the temperature breaches the 6.5°C mark.

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