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March Heatwave: Which parts of India are on alert? How to keep yourself safe?

Varsha Vats
Varsha VatsMar 16, 2022 | 15:59

March Heatwave: Which parts of India are on alert? How to keep yourself safe?

If you think the temperature in Delhi is soaring these days, you need to start adjusting to it. There are massive heatwaves hitting many parts of the country. The Konkan region in Maharashtra, and Mumbai are experiencing extreme temperatures right now, with the mercury above 35 degree Celsius.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert about heatwaves in many regions for the coming two days.

The IMD has forecast that heatwave to severe heatwave conditions can affect some parts of Saurashtra-Kutch, Konkan and West Rajasthan. West Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat region, East Rajasthan and Odisha may also experience some heatwave conditions.

The Regional Meteorological Center of Mumbai also warned the citizens in a series of tweets.

The IMD department has issued a yellow alert (heatwave conditions in isolated parts) for today.

"The Santacruz observatory in Mumbai recorded a temperature of 37.5 degree Celsius on Tuesday evening with a departure of 4.6 degree. The situation would ease out from Thursday onwards," said a scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai.

The IMD has predicted that the maximum temperature in Mumbai will remain around 40 degree Celsius over the next two days.

WHAT IS A HEATWAVE?

According to IMD, a heatwave is considered when the maximum temperature of a station reaches 40 degree Celsius or more for plains. For hilly areas, temperature around 30 degree Celsius is considered a heatwave.

Usually, in India, heatwave occurs from March to June and rarely even in July. May is the peak month of heatwaves in India.

The IMD has also listed areas that are prone to heatwaves. These include: Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Sometimes, heatwaves also affect Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

heatwave-647_031622021238.jpgIllustration: Seemon, DailyO

WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY OF HEATWAVES IN INDIA?

Due to climate change, the intensity and frequency of heatwaves have increased over the years. According to WHO, five-six heatwave events occur every year over the northern parts of India.

In 2019, one of the longest and hottest heatwaves affected India from mid-May to mid-June. This severe event caused multiple deaths and illnesses.

According to some researchers, heatwaves have claimed more than 17,000 lives in 50 years in India. The maximum heatwave deaths were in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha.

IMD also issues colour codes to different areas on the basis of the impact of the heatwave:

Green: Normal temperature

Yellow: Heat alert

Orange: Severe heat alert for the day

Red: Extreme heat alert for the day

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A HEATWAVE?

A heatwave can affect both humans and animals. It can leave you exhausted, dehydrated or may even lead to heat cramps.

Some symptoms that one may experience due to heatwave include: fatigue, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.

Timely precautions can help prevent the adverse effects of a heatwave. Here are some of these:

  • Stay well-hydrated
  • Wear light-coloured, loose clothes made of cotton
  • Avoid dehydrating foods and drinks like alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine and high protein food
  • Add liquids other than water to your diet like ORS, buttermilk, lemon water or detox water
  • Avoid going out between 12 noon and 3 pm

If you experience dizziness or fainting, contact your doctor for medical help.

Last updated: March 16, 2022 | 15:59
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