Sunstroke toll mounts to 16 in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: With the intense heat wave throwing normal life out of gear in Odisha, the sunstroke toll went up to 16 in the state on Sunday with the death of three persons, sources in the control room of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said.

The three deaths were reported from Soro area in Balasore district, Ashwakhala village under Gondia block in Dhenkanal district and Larki village under Komana block in Nuapada district, the sources added.

Besides, another sunstroke death was also reported from Brahmanabastha village under Kakhadi block of Athagarh sub-division in Cuttack district today. The deceased has been identified as Bishnu Charan Mallick.

According to a Met release here this evening, Bhubaneswar emerged as the hottest place in the state with 44.1 degree Celsius while temperature shot up to 40 degrees and above in Chandbali (42.3), Cuttack (42), Angul (42.7), Baripada (42.2), Jharsuguda (43.1), Keonjhar (41.1), Sambalpur (42.2), Sundergarh (42), Hirakud (42.7), Talcher (43.6), Bhawanipatna (42.8), Balangir (43), Phulbani (40), Titlagarh (42.5) and Malkangiri (42).

People in the capital city experienced gruelling heat wave as mercury touched 44.1 degree Celsius. Barring big trading establishments, almost all roadside shop owners downed their shutters by 11 AM to escape from scorching heat. Besides, busy thoroughfares and market places wore a deserted look.

“Though we have been living in the city since last 30 years, we had never witnessed the intense heat before. Since it is impossible to stay inside the house, we have taken shelter under the tree near our house,” said a woman living in a slum area in the city.

Narrating the heat wave condition in the capital city, Santosh Upadhyay, a non-Odia engineering student said it is impossible to stay in the hostel room.

“I cannot turn on the ceiling fan in the room as the heat is so severe. I cannot also come out of the hostel due to intense radiation. To escape from the scorching heat, I take cold drinks at regular intervals. People will die in the city if the heat wave condition continues further,” he added.

The plight of the people in Sundergarh district was miserable as temperature went up to 42 degrees.

“For the first time, I am putting on a towel on my head. I had never felt so much of heat here,” said Manoj Sahu, a resident of Sundergarh town.

Similar condition prevailed in Titlagarh which is considered as the hottest place in Odisha where the people bore the brunt of intense heat wave.

“In emergency cases, we move out of our house. After 10 AM, it seems as if curfew is imposed in the town area as almost all trading establishments are closed,” said Rajesh Pradhan, a resident of Titlagarh town.

Arjun Pande, a resident of Jharsuguda, said it is difficult to move out of the house after 8 AM. “There is no way to escape from such blistering heat in spite of putting wet clothes on your head,” he said.

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