The India Meteorological Department on Monday issued an orange alert warning of a severe heatwave in Delhi and several parts of North West and Central India for the next three to four days. An orange alert signifies that the authorities should be prepared to take action.

For the plains, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature goes up to 40 degrees Celsius or more and is at least 4.5 degrees above normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degree Celsius mark.

“Severe heatwave from June 4 in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,” RK Jenamani, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department, told ANI. “Temperature varying between 44-47 degrees Celsius shall continue for four more days. We advise people to venture out carefully as the heat spell is very severe.”

The Jammu division, Himachal Pradesh, west Rajasthan, north Jharkhand and Vidarbha in Maharashtra will likely experience a heatwave on June 6 and June 7, whereas Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh could witness extreme conditions between June 6 and June 8, the weather department said.

Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttarakhand are likely to experience a heatwave between June 6 and June 9, and East Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana on June 6, according to the India Meteorological Department.

On Sunday, Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of over 44.8 degrees Celsius, the Hindustan Times reported. The Mungeshpur area in the national capital recorded a maximum temperature of 47.3 degrees Celsius.

Delhi, as well as parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been experiencing record high temperatures over the past three months. In the last week of April, the city saw temperatures rise up to 46 degrees Celsius due to a heatwave.

The average maximum temperature in April for North West and Central India was the highest in 122 years. The country had also witnessed the hottest March in 122 years since the India Meteorological Department started maintaining records.

What to do and not to do during a heatwave:

Here are certain guidelines recommended to tackle the heatwave:

  • Drink sufficient water whenever possible, even if you are not thirsty. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.
  • Carry drinking water when travelling.
  • Use oral rehydration solution and consume homemade drinks like lemon water, buttermilk/lassi, and fruit juices with some added salt.
  • Wear thin loose, cotton garments preferably light coloured.
  • Cover your head. Use umbrella, hat, cap, towel and other traditional headgears during exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Avoid getting out in the sun, especially between l2 pm and 3 pm.
  • Avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon.
  • Do not go out barefoot.
  • Avoid cooking during peak summer hours. Open doors and windows to ventilate the cooking area adequately.
  • Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks or drinks with large amounts of sugar as they actually lead to loss of more body fluid or may cause stomach cramps.
  • Provide cool drinking water at the workplace and remind them to drink a cup of water every 2O minutes or more frequently to stay hydrated.
  • Caution workers to avoid direct sunlight.
  • Provide a shaded work area for workers. Temporary shelter can be created at the work site.
  • Watch out for symptoms of heat stress, which include dizziness or fainting, extreme thirst, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.
  • If you or others feel unwell and experience any of the above symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquid. Water is best.
  • Call 108/102 immediately if you find someone with high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating.