Odisha reels under heat wave; 23 die of sun stroke

Bhubaneswar: Normal life was badly affected today due to the heat wave sweeping the state with the industrial town of Jharsuguda recording the highest temperature at 45.8 degree Celsius even as the government received reports of 23 deaths allegedly due to sun stroke.

While Jharsuguda continued to remain the hottest place in the state for the second consecutive day, Mercury level crossed 45 degree Celsius in six places in western Odisha, IMD officials said.

Jharsuguda was followed by Titlagarh (45.7), Hirakud (45.6), Bhawanipatna (45.5), Sambalpur (45.3) and Balangir (45.1), they said.

The capital city of Bhubaneswar recorded 40.6 deg C with the heat becoming unbearable in the city as the relative humidity was recorded at 92 per cent, the officials said.

The other places where temperature crossed 40 deg C included Talcher (44), Angul (43.7), Sundergarh (43.5), Dhenkanal (42.7), Baripada (42.6), Phulbani (41.8), Malkangiri and Keonjhargarh (41.6 each) and Chandbali (41 deg C).

“So far we have received reports of 23 deaths due to sun stroke. However, investigation of only two cases have been completed, which said the deaths have occurred due to some other reasons. Other cases are under investigation by the district collectors,” Deputy Special Relief Commissioner (DSRC) Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra told PTI.

As it was becoming increasingly painful to come out of houses after 9 AM, most roads remained deserted and many shops closed down in most of the towns including the state capital.

The IMD in its forecast said heat wave like condition would continue across the state till May 30.

“Though there may be little drop in the temperature towards May 26 and 27, the Mercury level will again rise,” said S C Sahu, director IMD, Bhubaneswar.

The state government has geared up to meet any eventuality caused due to excessive heat across Odisha.

The district collectors have engaged 392 tankers in urban areas and 385 tankers in rural areas hit by water scarcity, sources in the SRC’s office said, adding, 531 mobile units have been deployed to repair the defunct tube wells.