Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

With the ongoing scorching heatwave claiming valuable lives in the state, people are in a state of panic, reminding them of the dire sizzling summer of 1998.

The intense heatwave has so far claimed at least 20 lives - mainly day labourers and truck drivers in interior and Western parts of Odisha including Sundargarh, Bolangir, Jharsuguda, and Keonjhar in the last two days.

Now, a question has been raised why so many people are falling victim to the heat wave conditions? Is it due to paying no attention to the warning issued by the Meteorological Department or an abrupt rise in maximum temperature?

What health experts say

According to health experts, generally, the body temperature of a healthy person is 37 degrees Centigrade. However, when the environmental temperature touches 40 degrees Centigrade, it severely affects the body's balance. Moreover, the people who work under a scorching sun and the drivers who travel a long distance will become more vulnerable if they don't become careful to take necessary precautionary measures. People having heart, lung and kidney ailments should be more careful. 

"Despite repeated awareness programmes, people are falling victim to heat wave conditions due to carelessness. Because of exposure to sizzling heat, important organs like heart, lungs, brain and kidney tend to stop functioning immediately, resulting in death," said health expert Dr Jayant Panda.

What weather experts say 

Meanwhile, as per weather experts, people need to be more careful as most parts of the state will continue to witness temperatures touching 40-45 degrees Celsius till June 10.

"Due to Cyclone Remal, a lot of moisture had come from the sea to land areas. However, it has not been converted to rain. Due to the intense heatwave conditions in interior Odisha, some of the suspended moisture has been evaporated. Though temperature will decrease up to 2-3 degrees Celsius due to evaporation between June 1-3, it is likely to be over 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of the State till June 10," said meteorologist Sarat Sahu.

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