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Heat wave abates in north India

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STATE TIMES NEWS

New Delhi: The intense heatwave prevailing in north India since June 7 abated on Thursday under the influence of a western disturbance affecting the region, though hospitals continued to report heat-related fatalities among patients admitted over the last few days.

The India Meteorological Department said no heatwave is predicted over most parts of the country in the next four to five days.
The monsoon is predicted to cover central India and most parts of northwest India between June 27 and July 3. The primary rain-bearing system did not make any progress between June 13 and 19, extending the wait for rains in north India amid the sweltering heat, it said.
On Thursday, maximum temperatures ranged from 40 to 42 degrees Celsius in many parts of west Rajasthan; some parts of south Uttar Pradesh and north Madhya Pradesh; and isolated pockets of Haryana, Delhi, East Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
“Heatwave conditions have abated from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, North Rajasthan, North Madhya Pradesh, and many parts of Uttar Pradesh today (June 20),” the weather office said. “Under the influence of a Western Disturbance and lower-level easterlies from the Bay of Bengal, scattered to fairly widespread light/moderate rainfall has been observed over Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, north Haryana, Chandigarh, and north Uttar Pradesh during the 24 hours ending at 08:30 am. Isolated very heavy rainfall has also been observed over Uttarakhand, and isolated hailstorms over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab,” it said.
The punishingly long heatwave led to a surge in heat stroke casualties in north India, including Delhi, prompting the Centre to issue an advisory to hospitals on Wednesday to set up special units to cater to such patients. The crippling heat overwhelmed the water supply system and power grids, with Delhi and Haryana wrangling over the water crisis in the national capital. Sources in the Health ministry on Thursday said that at least 114 heat-related deaths and more than 40,984 suspected heat stroke cases have been recorded between March 1 and June 18 this year. Uttar Pradesh is the worst-affected, having reported 37 deaths, followed by Bihar, Rajasthan, and Odisha, according to the data compiled under the National Heat-Related Illness and Death Surveillance by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The data may not be the final submission from states. So the numbers are expected to be higher than this,” an official source said. Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Thursday asked officials to visit Central government hospitals to see if separate arrangements have been made for heatwave-affected patients regularly. A total of 22 fatalities due to suspected heat-related illnesses were recorded at Delhi’s RML, Safdarjung, and LNJP hospitals since Wednesday morning, officials said on Thursday. Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena has asked the chief secretary to meet officers from the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and the social welfare and health departments in the wake of a rise in heat-related deaths in the city.

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