Climate Change

Low pre-monsoon showers, dry spell behind heatwaves in Bihar: Scientists

Patna has recorded the maximum temperature of 45.8 degree Celsius — the highest in the last 53 years  

 
By C K Manoj
Last Updated: Monday 17 June 2019
Photo: Getty Images

Originally published on June 16, 2019.

Update: Death toll from heatwaves has increased to 61 on June 16, media reports have cited. These deaths are also being reported from the worst-affected districts of Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada.

Lack of pre-monsoon showers and extreme dry conditions have intensified heatwave conditions that has reportedly claimed over 50 lives, so far, in Bihar, say scientists at the Patna Meteorological Centre.

On June 15, 2019, Patna recorded the maximum day’s temperature of 45.8 degree Celsius — the highest in the last 53 years.  The last time Patna saw the maximum temperature was in 1966 when the mercury soared to 46.6 degree Celsius.

“Bihar has not witnessed pre-monsoon showers this year, which has led mercury to soar at an alarming rate,” Anand Shankar, scientist at Patna Meteorological Centre said, told DTE.

“Cyclonic winds from the Arabian Sea have remained confined to the sea region itself and has failed to hit the seacoasts.

“Such disturbances have delayed monsoon and have led to severe heat wave conditions in the state,” Shankar explained.

According to him, the severe heatwave condition is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.

The intense heatwave has increased heat strokes that has led to widespread deaths in the state. Death toll has been reported mainly from districts of Aurangabad (30 lives), Gaya (17 lives) and Nawada (8 lives) on a single day, the state authorities claimed.

“More than 30 deaths are confirmed from heat stroke and the toll may go up further. Over 20 patients are still admitted to the hospital and some of them are in critical condition. We are trying hard to save them,” Surendra Prasad Singh, civil surgeon at Aurangabad, told reporters on June 16.

While health officials have claimed that many patients were brought dead, Bihar health secretary Sanjay Kumar has ordered an investigation to find out the cause of deaths.

Aurangabad district magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal has also ordered a survey of villages to gather details of people suffering from heat stroke and rush them to hospital to save lives.

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