Heat wave claims over 600 lives


SOURCE : http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/heat-wave-claims-over-600-lives

Heat wave claims over 600 lives

Author(s): Anupam Chakravartty

Issue Date: May 30, 2013

Odisha, Andhra request Centre to recognise heat wave as natural calamity

Since April 1, more than 600 persons in India have been killed by the deadly heat wave that has enveloped the country. One of the most affected states, Andhra Pradesh, reported 542 fatalities as the temperature hovered above 45°C across the state. However, heat waves that have claimed 1,300 lives (deaths directly attributed to sun stroke in official records) between 1998 and 2012 are yet to be recognised as a natural calamity.

Image taken from topnews.ae

Heat wave onset is considered only after maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C in the plains and at least 30°C in hilly regions

When normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C •Heat Wave Departure from normal is 5°C to 6°C •Severe Heat Wave Departure from normal is 7°C or more

When normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40°C •Heat Wave Departure from normal is 4°C to 5°C •Severe Heat Wave Departure from normal is 6°C or more

When actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more, irrespective of normal maximum temperature, heat wave should be declared.

Source: India Meteorological Department     

Affected states like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have requested the Central government to recognise heat wave as a calamity. According to officials from the National Disaster Management Authority, the Centre is considering their request.    On May 28, Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority stated in a release that 542 persons have perished under extreme heat conditions since April 1. According to T Radha, state commissioner for disaster management, most deaths occurred due to sunstroke between May 21 and May 28.

Among the affected areas, Adilabad and Karimnagar districts reported 43 deaths each as temperatures touched a maximum of 46°C and a minimum temperature stayed at 38°C. Earlier, in a heat wave in 2003, the death toll on Andhra Pradesh had touched 3,000 (official records downplay the figures).

Read more :Heat wave

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