Heatwave peaks: Red alert issued in Delhi, most Northern states
A red alert was issued for Delhi, and neighboring states like Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, for two days as heatwave grappled large parts of the territory. A respite from the scorching heat will come only after May 28, said experts. Residents were asked to remain indoors between 1 and 5 pm when the impact of the heatwave is maximum. Here's more.
On Sunday, the Safdarjung weather station recorded a maximum temperature of 44.4 degrees Celsius in Delhi, prompting authorities to sound an alert for May 25 (today) and 26 (tomorrow). This means that authorities must take steps to avoid health emergencies. The alert comes at a time when India is already dealing with a pandemic and has lost over 4,000 lives to COVID-19.
The scorching heat became torturous for Rajasthan too. The temperature is expected to touch 45 degrees Celsius in the capital Jaipur today. "Heatwave conditions over some parts, with severe heatwave over isolated pockets, are very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, and Telangana over the next five days," today's bulletin of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reportedly read.
On Sunday, the maximum temperature touched unimaginable levels in some places. It was recorded at 46.2 degrees Celsius in the Vidarbha region, touched 46.6 degrees Celsius in Churu (Rajasthan), and 46 degrees Celsius in Akola, Maharashtra. This situation will continue for the next four-five days. Currently, dry northwesterly winds are flowing over Indian planes, said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head of the regional weather forecasting center.
"From May 28, we are expecting dust storms and thunderstorms due to western disturbance. Wind speed will increase to 50- 60 kmph and there will be clouds. Sunrays are also vertical, making its impact very intense, humidity has been only 30% to 40%," he said.
In Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow, things weren't any better. Locals were seen carrying umbrellas and towels. A juice shop owner said there's a demand for drinks during these times. "However, not many people are coming out of their houses due to COVID-19 pandemic," he added. An orange alert was sounded for eastern Uttar Pradesh. The situation could persist for few days.
The best way to protect yourself from the heat is staying indoors. However, if you have to step out for absolutely necessary tasks, ensure you are fully clothed and use umbrella/hat/sunglasses. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water, lassi, buttermilk. Avoid oily food items and increase the intake of protein-rich dishes. Seek medical help if you experience weakness, dizziness, breathlessness, chest pain, etc.