Heatwave Claims Lives in Uttar Pradesh, Urgent Precautions Advised for Elderly

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Heatwave, Claims Lives in Uttar Pradesh, Urgent Precautions Advised for Elderly

heir lives over the past two days as a scorching heatwave engulfs a wide region of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Health officials, alarmed by the situation, are urging residents aged 60 and above to remain indoors during daylight hours for their safety.

The unfortunate victims, all aged 60 or older, had preexisting health conditions that may have been aggravated by the relentless heat. These fatalities occurred in Ballia district, situated approximately 300 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

Thursday witnessed 23 deaths, followed by another 11 on Friday, as confirmed by Jayant Kumar, Chief Medical Officer of Ballia. “All individuals were already suffering from various ailments, and their conditions deteriorated due to the extreme heat,” stated Kumar during an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday. The majority of deaths were attributed to heart attacks, brain strokes, and cases of diarrhea.

Diwakar Singh, another medical officer, underscored the vulnerability of the elderly population to such extreme temperatures. Singh emphasized that those affected were admitted to Ballia’s primary hospital in critical condition. “Elderly people are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of extreme heat,” he remarked.

According to data from the India Meteorological Department, Ballia experienced a scorching maximum temperature of 42.2 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday, surpassing the normal average by 4.7 degrees Celsius (8 degrees Fahrenheit).

The searing summer has led to widespread power outages across the state, leaving residents without running water, fans, or air conditioners. As a result, numerous protests have erupted.

In response to the dire situation, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has assured the public that the government is taking every necessary measure to ensure an uninterrupted power supply throughout the state. He urged citizens to cooperate with the government’s efforts and make judicious use of electricity.

Adityanath stated in a Friday night address, “Every village and city should receive adequate power supply during this scorching heat. Any faults or disruptions should be promptly addressed.”

Historically, the main summer months of April, May, and June are characterized by high temperatures across most parts of India, followed by the relief of monsoon rains bringing cooler weather. However, in the past decade, temperatures have intensified. Heatwaves in the country typically result in severe water shortages, with tens of millions of its 1.4 billion people lacking access to running water.

A recent study conducted by World Weather Attribution, an academic group focused on understanding extreme weather events, revealed that climate change has made a scorching heatwave in April at least 30 times more likely in certain regions of South Asia.

In April, the heatwave claimed the lives of 13 individuals at a government event in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, prompting some states to close all schools for a week.

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