Heatwave killed more than 40 people in different parts of Bihar on Saturday, NDTV reported. Most deaths have been reported from Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada districts. As many as 27 people have died in Aurangabad alone. In Gaya, 12 people died of heatstroke.
“Many people were undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the [Aurangabad] district,” Dr Surendra Prasad Singh, a doctor at a state-run hospital, told ANI. “All the people who died were suffering from high-temperature fever.” He said the number of casualties is likely to increase.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of the deceased.
Aurangabad’s civil surgeon said that 30 patients are undergoing treatment at the Sadar Hospital, 10 of whom are in a critical condition, The Times of India reported. “Patients started reaching Aurangabad Sadar hospital from every corner of the district from 5 pm,” he said. “All of them were sick due to the heatwave. Fifteen people were brought dead to the hospital.”
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is in Patna, advised people to avoid going out of their houses till the temperature reduces. “Intense heat affects brain and leads to various health issues,” he told ANI.
A heatwave is declared when the temperature touches 45°C for two straight days. A severe heatwave is declared when it touches 47°C. On Saturday, Gaya recorded a maximum temperature of 45.2°C, eight degrees above normal.
Several parts of India reeled under a heatwave last week. By June 12, the heatwave spell had stretched for 32 days, the second-longest spell ever recorded.
Monsoon usually sets in over Delhi on June 29 but the Met department said last week that it would be delayed by two to three days. Skymet predicted that monsoon rains in Delhi in might be delayed by a week. On Saturday, Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 45.4°C, six degrees above normal.
Heatwaves have been become frequent over the last few years. Since 2004, the country has experienced 11 of the 15 warmest years. Since 2010, more than 6,000 people have died in heat waves across the country, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had told the Lok Sabha in 2018.