Heatwave in State unrelenting; Sambalpur at 46.7o Celsius

As most parts of the State continued to be in the grip of unrelenting and worsening heat wave for the last three weeks allegedly taking a toll of 81 persons, the State Government on Saturday asked the district authorities to intensify the awareness drive to avoid health hazards.

Severe heat wave conditions continued to prevail in over 18 districts with mercury hovering above 45 degrees Celsius in at least seven districts and the residents of Sambalpur being at the worst receiving end. It was the hottest place in the State on the day, recording the highest 46.7 degrees Celsius. While Hirakud and Sonepur each registered 46.2 degrees Celsius, the temperature at Jharsuguda was at 46 degrees, Titilagarh 45.8 degrees, Balangir 45.5 degrees, Sundargarh 45, Bhawanipatna 44.7, Keonjhargarh 43.2 degrees Celsius.

Bhubaneswar region experienced 40.6 degrees Celsius, making life miserable, coupled with frequent power cuts.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surjya Narayan Patro, who reviewed the heat wave situations, told newsmen that the death toll due to sunstroke had gone up to 19 as there were unofficial reports of 81 sunstroke deaths. The district Collectors have already been asked to verify the deaths case by case and report the exact deaths due to sunstroke, he said.

Stating that the weatherman has informed that the monsoon is likely to be delayed this year and may touch Odisha coast by the end of third week, Patro said the prevailing heat-wave may act upon the health of the people. The Government has advised the district collectors to undertake massive awareness campaigns to avoid the adverse effect of the heat wave, Patro said.

On the alleged death of labourers during this summer, Patro said the district Collectors of Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Baleswar from where the alleged deaths have been reported, were asked to investigate and report to the Government soon. The labour inspectors under the Labour Department were also told to monitor the situation and ensure that no workers worked between 11 am and 3 pm.

Restriction in plying the buses between 11 am and 3 pm would continue to be imposed till the monsoon arrives, he said, adding that the Discoms have been asked for immediate replacement of faulty transformers to ensure sustained power supply.

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