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India issues heat wave warning after record high temperature recorded in Delhi

Author: Sakshi Dayal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s weather department issued a red alert for several parts of the country’s northwest on Wednesday, warning of a severe heat wave a day after parts of the capital Delhi recorded an all-time high of almost 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Celsius). Fahrenheit). ).

According to India’s Meteorological Department, a red alert means there is a “very high probability” of developing “heat illness and heat stroke” and calls for “special care” for vulnerable people.

India is grappling with unusually high temperatures this summer, with the weather department saying “heatwave to severe heatwave” conditions are likely to persist in several parts of the country, including the capital, until Wednesday.

India declares a heat wave when the maximum temperature in a given region is 4.5 to 6.4°C above normal, while a severe heat wave is declared when the maximum temperature is 6.5°C above normal or more.

Local weather stations in Delhi’s Mungeshpur and Narela districts recorded a temperature of 49.9 degrees Celsius on Tuesday – an all-time record in the city and 9°C above normal.

Local authorities in Delhi have also restricted water supplies due to the heat. The water level in the Yamuna River, the main source, was found to be low.

The city does not have an uninterrupted water supply at any point, but the government has said that neighborhoods that receive water for several hours twice a day will face further restrictions.

“I appeal to all residents that regardless of whether there is a water problem in your area or not, use water very carefully,” local water minister Atishi, who used only one name, said on Tuesday.

Billions of people across Asia, including India’s neighbor Pakistan, are experiencing hotter summers this year – a trend that international scientists say has been worsened by human-induced climate change.

Local media reported three more deaths in Jaipur, Rajasthan state, on Tuesday, taking the death toll in the city to four and in the state to at least 13.

Rising temperatures also prompted India’s electoral body to take additional measures during last week’s national election voting in Delhi, including deploying paramedics to polling stations, which were also equipped with fog machines, shaded waiting areas and cold water dispensers.

The elections will end on June 1 and counting will take place on June 4.

(Reporting by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)