Severe heatwave claims 54 lives across India

delhi india

A severe heatwave has claimed at least 54 lives across central, eastern, and northern India, over the past couple of days, with record-breaking temperatures affecting regions including Delhi and Bihar.

In Bihar, 32 people died from heatstroke. The fatalities in Bihar include 17 in Aurangabad, 6 in Arrah, 3 each in Gaya and Rohtas, 2 in Buxar, and 1 in Patna.

Odisha reported 10 deaths in Rourkela. In Jharkhand’s Palamu and Rajasthan, 5 people died each, while 1 death was reported in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Additionally, a 40-year-old man from Darbhanga, Bihar, succumbed to heatstroke in Delhi after his body temperature rose to 42.2 °C (108 °F). This was Delhi’s first heat-related death of the year.

Delhi-NCR registered a record-breaking temperature of 52.9 °C (127.2 °F) on May 29, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). This temperature, recorded in Mungeshpur, surpassed the previous national record of 51 °C (124 °F) set in Phalodi, Rajasthan, in 2016. However, IMD is currently investigating the accuracy of this reading due to potential sensor errors or local factors.

Delhi’s primary weather station at Safdarjung Observatory recorded a maximum temperature of 46.8 °C (116.2 °F) on May 29, the highest in 79 years. The previous record was 46.7 °C (116.1 °F) on June 17, 1945. On May 30, the maximum temperature in Delhi was slightly lower at 45.6 °C (114.1 °F), still significantly above the normal.

On May 30, IMD reported that maximum temperatures ranged between 45 – 48 °C (113 – 118.4 °F) across many parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and isolated pockets of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, East Madhya Pradesh, and Vidarbha.

The IMD also indicated that temperatures in the range of 42 – 45 °C (107.6 – 113 °F) were prevalent in parts of West Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam, Gujarat, Telangana, and Rayalaseema. These temperatures were above normal by 3 – 6 °C (5.4 – 10.8 °F) in many regions of Northwest, Central, and East India.

A duststorm is predicted in Uttar Pradesh between May 31 and June 1, and in Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi on May 31.

The IMD forecasted very light to light rainfall with thunderstorms and lightning over the plains of Northwest India from May 31 to June 2.

Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions are expected in isolated pockets of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha on May 31 and June 1.

Additionally, heatwave conditions are likely in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, and Uttarakhand on May 31, with hot and humid weather predicted for isolated pockets of Konkan and Goa on May 31 and June 1, and Gangetic West Bengal on May 31. Warm nights are forecasted in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar, and Odisha on May 31 and June 1, and Uttar Pradesh on May 31.

The IMD announced that conditions are favorable for the further advancement of the Southwest Monsoon into parts of Lakshadweep, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, and Sikkim over the next two to three days.


1 54 dead as heatwave bakes parts of India, duststorm likely in Delhi today – India Today – May 31, 2024

2 Delhi-NCR registers national record-high temperature of 52.9 °C (127.2 °F) – The Watchers – May 29, 2024


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