Thursday, June 20, 2024

Delhi swelters

Heatwave to scorch northwest, central India till June 15, Delhi sears at 43.8°C | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Northern India, including the capital Delhi, is suffering under a severe heatwave with temperatures soaring above 45°C over the weekend.

On Sunday, Delhi’s Najafgarh district recorded a temperature of 47.8°C, the highest in the country this season.The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the heat spell is likely to persist this week.This intense heatwave coincides with India’s general election, with results to be announced on 4 June.

Getty Images A vehicle of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation Heritage is spraying water mist to provide relief from the scorching sun on a hot summer day, in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on May 15, 2024. (Photo by Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In Jaipur, Rajasthan, civic authorities sprayed water on streets to provide some relief from the scorching sun.

Indian summers, which stretch from March to September, are typically hot and humid. The IMD has forecast longer and more intense heatwaves this year.

On Saturday, temperatures exceeded 45°C in 10 locations within the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

The IMD expects maximum temperatures in Delhi and other northern cities to hover around 45-46°C on Monday and Tuesday. A new heat spell is also predicted for parts of western and central India over the next few days.

Many Indian states facing the heatwave are also participating in the ongoing elections. On Monday, millions will vote in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, with Delhi voting on 25 May. The elections are being held in seven phases from 19 April to 1 June.

Getty Images Commuters cover their faces with cloth to shelter from the heat on May 19 in Gurugram

Voters have expressed difficulty withstanding the extreme heat, especially senior citizens. In response, election authorities have extended voting hours and advised voters to take precautions against the heat.

Summers in India are notoriously harsh, particularly in the northern and central regions. Street vendors and the poor are especially vulnerable, as many lack access to air-conditioning and water coolers. To cope, some people use traditional methods such as cooling water in earthen jugs and drinking raw mango pulp beverages to prevent heat strokes.

Getty Images Families fill up empty water buckets with potable water from a New Delhi Municipal Council water tanker on May 02, 2024

In New Delhi, Greenpeace activists set up an ice sculpture to highlight the impact of heatwaves, while families fill water buckets from municipal tankers to combat water shortages. The heatwave makes commuting particularly challenging, with many covering their faces to protect against the sun.

Getty Images A visitor takes a photo of the ice sculpture, melting under the heatwave in Delhi to show the impact of heatwaves across the country, as part of a protest staged by a Greenpeace activist at a mall in Delhi. The 8 foot tall sculpture shows a woman with a child and a dog - some of the most vulnerable communities affected by heatwaves and other extreme weather events

Overall, the heatwave adds to the challenges faced by millions across the country during this election period.

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