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Climate Change

Two People Die In Kerala As Heatwave Scorches Region

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority directed the Palakkad District Collector to order the closure of all educational institutions in the district till May 2 in the wake of a heat wave alert

Warmest April Ever Fuelled Weather Extremes Across Globe: WMO
Authorities has advised the public to take umbrellas while going out and drink lot of water to prevent dehydration

Thiruvananthapuram, India: At least two people have died in India’s southern state of Kerala of suspected heat stroke, media reported on Monday (April 29), as the country battles a sweltering summer that has seen temperatures soar to record levels.

A 90-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man died in Kerala on Sunday, The Hindu newspaper reported, as temperatures soared to 41.9 degrees Celsius (107°Fahrenheit), nearly 5.5 degrees Celsius above normal. State disaster management official Shekhar Kuriakose said,

We are yet to confirm whether these deaths were due to heat waves. The medical process for examining the deaths is on.

Also Read: IMD Predicts Severe Heatwave Conditions Over East, South Peninsular India For Next Five Days

Scientists have said climate change is contributing to more frequent, severe, and longer heatwaves during summer months.

Temperatures across Kerala were expected to be higher than normal, causing authorities to issue warnings asking people to take precautions against the heat.

India’s weather department has predicted more heat-wave days than normal between April and June this year.

In the eastern state of Odisha, where temperatures touched 44.9 degrees Celsius (113°F) on Sunday, the highest recorded in April, at least two people have died this summer of sun stroke, said Odisha’s public health director Dr Niranjan Mishra.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, authorities re-opened schools on Sunday despite a heatwave sweeping the region, but have encouraged citizens to stay indoors during the day.

But for those who work outdoors, like rickshaw driver Mohammed Shameem, there is not much respite. Shameem said,

It is too hard to work under the sun during a brutal heatwave. There are not many people who are coming out which means getting passengers is tough. But we have no option but to come out and work.

IMD issues orange alert in Kerala’s Palakkad

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday sounded an ‘orange alert’ in Kerala’s Palakkad district due to the possibility of a heatwave. The state government has announced the closure of educational institutions in Palakkad and have instructed people to be cautious during hot days.

The weather agency also issued a ‘yellow alert’ in some areas of Kollam and Thrissur districts in the wake of scorching heat and due to the possible threat of a heatwave, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said.

The IMD predicted that the temperature in Palakkad, Kollam, and Thrissur districts was likely to soar up to 41 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius, respectively, from April 29 to May 3.

In view of rising temperatures, Palakkad District Collector S Chitra directed the educational institutions except medical college to remain closed in the district till May 2.

The weatherman also said the temperature in Kozhikode district is likely to soar up to 39 degrees Celsius.

As per the warning issued by the IMD, the maximum temperature in Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Kannur districts was likely to go up to 38 degrees Celsius, and in Ernakulam, Malappuram and Kasaragod, up to 37 degrees Celsius from April 29 to May 3.

The meteorological department uses four colour codes – green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action)- for weather warning.

Also Read: Heatwave Conditions To Prevail In South Bengal Till April 30: India Meteorological Department

In the wake of the continuing hot weather, the KSDMA warned against the possibility of fire outbreaks in markets, buildings and dumping yards in the above districts.

Fire audits should be conducted, and proper safety precautions should be taken to avert any danger, the agency said.

There is also a possibility of forest fires due to increasing heat, so tourists and people living in forest fringe areas should exercise caution, the KSDMA added.

Meanwhile, state Labour Minister V Sivankutty said the rescheduled working hours of labourers during the day have been extended till May 15 in the wake of a steady increase in temperature and due to the possible threat of a heatwave.

Strict action would be taken against the employer if labourers were found to be working during the day hours from 12 pm to 3.00 pm, he said.

The minister also directed Labour Commissioner Arjun Pandian to take steps to conduct strict inspections at all work places in the state and to take action against violations.

State Health Minister Veena George cautioned on Monday that intense heat may cause serious health issues like sunstroke, sunburn, and dehydration.

Children, elderly people, pregnant women, and those suffering from serious health issues should pay extra vigil, she said.

The health minister also took stock of the general situation prevailing in the state in the wake of the steady increase in temperatures.

Authorities also advised the public to take umbrellas while going out and drink lot of water to prevent dehydration.

Among many directives, they also urged people to avoid going out during the day as much as possible and postpone all public events to the evening.

Also Read: India Likely To Experience Above-Normal Rainfall This Monsoon: Indian Meteorological Department

All educational institutions shut amid heatwave

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority on Monday directed the Palakkad District Collector to order the closure of all educational institutions in the district till May 2 in the wake of a heat wave alert. The temperature in Palakkad, which borders Tamil Nadu’s Kovai, has been high for a while and on Saturday, the IMD issued an alert that the mercury will rise to 41 degrees.

Consequent to the directive, all educational institutions have been asked to stay closed till May 2. Apart from this, all residents have been asked to stop all outdoor activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., while counters will be opened to provide drinking water.

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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