Heatwave to prevail for another 48 hours

The mercury showed signs of a decline across the State but there was no relief from the sweltering conditions which claimed three more lives in Odisha on Monday. Two persons died in Balasore while the third sunstroke death was reported by the Ganjam district administration.

The official death toll, with this, has climbed up to eight while the unofficial figure touched 50. So far, Angul, Balangir, Sambalpur, Jajpur, Boudh and now Balasore and Ganjam have confirmed sunstroke deaths.

Meanwhile, several western districts reported a drop in the day temperature. Sonepur, Titlagarh, Jharsuguda, Hirakud, Sambalpur as well as Sundargarh saw the mercury fall below 45 degree Celsius. In Bhubaneswar too, it dropped to 40.4 degree C. Balangir was the hottest town with the maximum day temperature reading 44.6 degree C.

The drop in temperature notwithstanding, the misery is unlikely to end soon. The? Met department said the heatwave condition has swept across the entire South-East Asia region and will continue for the next few days. The local weather office also stated? that the heatwave conditions will continue to grip the State for the next 48 hours.

The scorching conditions prompted the State Government take some urgent measures. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is scheduled to leave for London on his maiden foreign visit in his three stints, directed the Energy department to ensure that distcoms do not resort to power cut during? daytime, between 10 am and 5 pm.

In fact, such has been the quality of power supply in most parts of the State that people have begun to take to the streets. On Monday, women of Tapoban slums in Barabari area of the Capital gheraoed the local Khandagiri SDO office protesting against the continuous low voltage for the last two years. The hapless CESU officials had no option but to blame the inadequate power generation for the situation and assured improvement in the scenario to escape the protesters’ wrath. Police reached the spot and defused tension.

Two daily-wage labourers died in Capital Hospital here allegedly due to sunstroke on Monday. Sources said the duo were under influence of alcohol. An investigation by the district administration is awaited to confirm the exact cause of death. At least 10 persons were admitted to the hospital after reportedly suffering from sunstroke on the day.

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