Brutal heat turns fatal in Capital

| | New Delhi
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Brutal heat turns fatal in Capital

Friday, 31 May 2024 | Saumya Shukla | New Delhi

Brutal heat turns fatal in Capital

While braving a roasting temperature of 45.6 degrees celsius, about five degrees above the normal and prevailing heatwave conditions, Delhi reported its first death as a 40-year-old man from Bihar's Darbhanga succumbed to heat stroke at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in the city on Wednesday.

Areas like Mungeshpur, Najafgarh and Narela have been reporting temperatures above 49 degrees Celsius for five continuous days and temperature in other stations have also been soaring above 45 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature settled at 30.4 degrees Celsius, four degrees above the normal, and the humidity level at 6:30 pm was 36 per cent.

According to experts, heatwave conditions affect Delhi more as hot winds from Rajasthan and Haryana rush to the northwest border of the city. Since, areas like Mungeshpur, Narela and Najafgarh are located on the border they take the first blow of the hot summer westerly or north-westerly blowing in from Rajasthan or Haryana.

The victim was a labourer who died due to multiple organ failure following his temperature rising to as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit, 10 degrees above the normal. "The patient's kidneys and liver had failed due to excessively high body temperature, following which he died during treatment," Dr Rajesh Shukla of RML Hospital said.

Amid the city already facing the scorching sun, impending water crisis and frequent power cuts have worsened the situation.

Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) have also protested against the blackouts amid the heat in several areas of Delhi and adjoining regions of Noida and Ghaziabad. On Thursday, according to the State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC), the peak power demand was 8,091 MW, crossing the mark of 8,000 MW.

A tussle between the BJP-led Haryana Government and AAP-led Delhi Government has been ongoing over the alleged claims of the Delhi Government that Haryana is not releasing its share of water. The Delhi Government held an emergency meeting over the crisis and also stated that they will approach the Supreme Court while announcing several measures to keep the situation in check. The Delhi Water Minister Atishi also conducted a field inspection of Wazirabad Yamuna Reservoir and she said she will write a letter to the Central Government over the issue. They said the water crisis is the result of heatwave conditions and Haryana not releasing water.

Meanwhile, there is a steep rise in fire related accidents in the city with calls surged to 180 on Wednesday recording a nearly three-fold rise over the single-day calls received by the Delhi Fire Service (DFS), with officials attributing the increase to heatwave conditions prevailing in the national Capital. The DFS chief Atul Garg said the numbers are massive and alarming as these fires have claimed several lives including 10 because of the fire on Saturday including six newborns in a private neonatal hospital.

The services received 220 calls, including 183 fire-related, the highest so far this year. The remaining calls were related to bird and animal rescue.

"This was the highest single-day call recorded so far this year. Usually, we receive almost 150 calls in the whole summer season -- 60 are fire-related and the remaining are related to animal rescue. But this time there is a three-fold rise," he said.

According to the data, fire-related incidents have claimed 55 lives and injured more than 300 people in the national Capital so far this year. Sixteen people were killed in fire-related incidents in January, another 16 in February, 12 in March, four in April, and seven till May 26, it said.

"In January we received 1,204 calls, 1,032 fire-related calls in February, 1,328 calls in March, in April we received 2,357 calls, and 2,991 calls till May 26 midnight. On May 29, we received the highest number of fire-related calls," Garg said.

Even on Thursday, fire broke out at several parts of Delhi and adjoining region of Noida including a minor incident in Millenium park and a massive fire at a high-rise building in Uttar Pradesh's Noida sector 100.

According to details, the incident occured due to a blast in the Air-Conditioner (AC) at the Lotus Boulevard society in Sector 100 in Noida.

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