Heat wave warning in Odisha as temperatures soar

The highest maximum temperature of 41°C was recorded in Balangir on March 29

By Priya Ranjan Sahu
Published: Wednesday 30 March 2022
Heat wave advisory in Odisha after temperature rises Photo: Sunil Kumar Singh

The Odisha government alerted district collectors March 29, 2022 about an impending heat wave situation in the coming two days and advised taking precautionary measures.

The temperature has been constantly on the rise in several areas of the state for the past few days. The highest maximum temperature of 41 degree Celcius was recorded in Balangir on March 29. Six other places, including Baripada, Titlagarh, Talcher, Angul, Sonepur and Boudh, recorded temperatures above 40°C.

A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department said:

Heat wave condition is very likely to prevail at one or two places over the districts of Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Sonepur, Boudh and Balangir from 8.30 am between March 30 and March 31, and over the districts of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Sonepur, Boudh and Balangir between March 31 and April 1.

The office of Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena asked the collectors to take steps to circulate the warning message among the public. Precautionary measures for hot weather must be taken by everyone going outside between 11 am and 3.30 pm in the districts, the advisory said.

It added that the heat wave might have health concerns for infants, elderly and sick persons. “Situation may be monitored and action as deemed necessary be taken,” the communication said.

Odisha has a history of fatalities caused by extreme heat. After over 2,000 people died due to extreme heat waves in 1998, the government took several measures to prevent deaths. As a result, the death caused by sunstroke was reduced to a large extent – to 91 a year later.

The reported death toll since then has mostly been in two-digits with the exception of 2005 and 2010 when 237 and 109 persons died respectively.

Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar are among major states of India with the highest fatality density due to heat wave, according to a research paper published in scientific journal Current Science last year. 

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