Rajasthan’s Barmer records 48 degrees; temperatures set to rise further, says IMD : The Tribune India

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Rajasthan’s Barmer records 48 degrees; temperatures set to rise further, says IMD

Water levels in the Delhi stretch of the Yamuna river drop amid the sweltering heat, affecting water supply

Rajasthan’s Barmer records 48 degrees; temperatures set to rise further, says IMD

People bathe from a broken water pipeline on the Yamuna river bed under a bridge on a hot summer day in New Delhi on Wednesday. Reuters



PTI

New Delhi, May 22

The blistering heat sweeping across large swathes of India continued unabated on Wednesday, with the mercury surging to 48 degrees Celsius in Rajasthan's Barmer, the highest temperature recorded in the country this year so far.

Water levels in the Delhi stretch of the Yamuna river dropped amid the sweltering heat, affecting water supply.

The city also saw power demand reaching a record 8,000 megawatts, with air-conditioners, coolers and refrigerators in homes and offices running at full throttle.

Official data showed that at least 24 places in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh recorded maximum temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius or above on Wednesday.

Barmer in Rajasthan recorded a high of 48 degrees Celsius, the highest in the country this season so far. Churu logged a high of 47.4 degrees, Phalodi 47.8 degrees, and Jaisalmer 47.2 degrees.

Maximum temperature settled at 45 degrees in Madhya Pradesh's Ratlam, 44.8 degrees in Maharashtra's Akola, 47.7 degrees in Haryana's Sirsa, 46.6 degrees in Punjab's Bathinda, 46.1 degrees in Gujarat's Kandla and 45 degrees in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.

Conditions are set to deteriorate further with the India Meteorological Department predicting a rise of three to four degrees in northwest India over the next few days.

The Met department issued a red warning for Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and west Uttar Pradesh, emphasising a "very high likelihood" of heat illness and heatstroke in all ages.

It said warm night conditions could further exacerbate heat-related stress in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan over the next four days.

High night temperatures are considered dangerous because the body doesn't get a chance to cool down. Increasing nighttime heat is more common in cities because of the urban heat island effect, in which metro areas are significantly hotter than their surroundings.

The punishing heat is straining power grids and drying up water bodies, triggering drought-like conditions in parts of the country.

According to the Central Water Commission, water storage in 150 major reservoirs in India plunged to their lowest level in five years last week, exacerbating water shortages in many states and significantly affecting hydropower generation.

Reports said film actor Shah Rukh Khan suffered a heatstroke during an IPL match in Gujarat's Ahmedabad, which reeled from a deadly combination of high heat and humidity.

In April, Union minister Nitin Gadkari fainted due to heat while addressing an election rally in Maharashtra, while a TV host fell unconscious during a live broadcast in West Bengal. 

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