Fire Rains from Mountains to Plains: Relief Expected Soon Amid Deadly Heatwave

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Extreme Heat Triggers
Extreme Heat Triggers

At least one-third of the country is enduring a severe heatwave as scorching temperatures and relentless heatwaves grip regions from the mountains to the plains. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and several other plains states, along with the lower regions of hilly states including Jammu and Kashmir, are experiencing unprecedented heat. According to the Meteorological Department, this intense heat will persist in 13 states and union territories for the next two days. However, relief is anticipated from June 18 to June 20, as a Western Disturbance moves towards North West India, bringing light rain and storms.

Scorching Heat in Uttar Pradesh

Prayagraj has emerged as the hottest city in Uttar Pradesh, recording a staggering 47.6 degrees Celsius for the third consecutive day on Monday. The Meteorological Department reports severe heat conditions across UP, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Madhya Pradesh, and the Ganga coast areas of West Bengal. The plains and lower areas of the Jammu division of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are also suffering from the extreme heat. In the last 24 hours, temperatures between 44 and 46 degrees were recorded in these states, making it challenging for residents to step out during the day. Night-time brings no respite, as temperatures remain high, particularly in UP, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and eastern Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, Odisha, Jharkhand, and the coastal areas of Bengal’s Ganges are grappling with heat combined with high humidity. The northern coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh are also facing intense heat.

Meteorological Department’s Forecast

Due to the Western Disturbance, there is a possibility of light rain with thunderstorms in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan between June 18 and 20. Some areas may also experience lightning strikes. Winds are expected to blow at speeds of 30-40 km per hour.

Heatwave Grips the National Capital

Delhi is in the throes of an intense heatwave, with temperatures reaching 45.2 degrees Celsius, 6.4 degrees above normal. The Meteorological Department had issued a red alert, predicting temperatures exceeding 45 degrees. Severe heatwave conditions have persisted across most areas of the capital, with a minimum temperature recorded at 33 degrees, 5.5 degrees above normal. The high minimum temperature means that there is no relief from the heat even at night. However, some respite is expected from June 19, with possible rain in parts of the capital.

Tragic Loss of Lives in Faridabad

The extreme heat has claimed five lives in Faridabad. A 40-year-old man collapsed and died after asking for water in a park near Lakhani Dharamshala in NIT 2. Pramod, returning from work in Sector-21, also fainted and died. Additionally, an auto driver, a cyclist, and a corporation sanitation worker succumbed to the heat. Preliminary investigations suggest that all deaths were due to the extreme heat.

Soaring Temperatures in Punjab and Haryana

Temperatures in most parts of Punjab and Haryana hovered around 46 degrees. On Monday, Bathinda in Punjab and Pindara in Jind district of Haryana recorded the highest temperature of 46.9 degrees Celsius. Chandigarh saw temperatures of 44.5 degrees, while Faridkot in Punjab recorded 46 degrees, and Pathankot recorded 45.8 degrees. Faridabad and Sirsa in Haryana were severely affected, with temperatures rising to 46.6 degrees and 46.2 degrees respectively. Gurugram recorded a maximum temperature of 45.1 degrees.

Hilly Areas Facing Severe Heat

Even the hilly areas are not spared from the heatwave. The maximum temperature in Kathua, Jammu, was recorded at 44.8 degrees, with a minimum of 28.6 degrees. Nine districts in Himachal Pradesh, including Sirmaur, Mandi, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Shimla, Solan, Kangra, and Kullu, are experiencing severe heat. Una, Himachal Pradesh, recorded a maximum temperature of 44.6 degrees. However, there was some relief as light snowfall occurred at Rohtang Pass in Himachal, and rain in Kullu brought down temperatures by five to seven degrees. In Uttarakhand, Mussoorie saw temperatures reaching 33 degrees, leading to deserted roads even on busy streets like Mall Road.

High Death Toll in Uttar Pradesh Due to Heat

Tragically, 169 people have died in the last 24 hours due to severe heat and heat stroke in Uttar Pradesh. In Purvanchal, 50 people died across four districts, with 33 deaths in Varanasi alone. Ghazipur, Mirzapur, and Chandauli reported 17 deaths. Bundelkhand and Kanpur divisions saw 100 deaths, with the highest in Kanpur at 26. Hamirpur reported 19 deaths, while Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, Mahoba, Banda, and Auraiya also reported fatalities. In Firozabad, an elderly man and a young man died, while two others died in Shikohabad and Tundla. Prayagraj reported 8 deaths, Kaushambi 5, and Pratapgarh 2. Thirty deaths were reported in Bundelkhand.

Relief on the Horizon

The country is eagerly awaiting the relief expected from the Western Disturbance moving towards North West India. As it brings light rain and thunderstorms, it is hoped that temperatures will drop and provide much-needed respite from the relentless heatwave. However, caution is advised as lightning strikes and strong winds could accompany the rains. The nation’s resilience is being tested by this severe weather, but with the forecasted change, there is a glimmer of hope for cooler days ahead.

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