2015 Indian heat wave

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2015 Indian heatwave
2015 Indian heat wave is located in India
Khammam 48 °C (118 °F)
Khammam 48 °C (118 °F)
Allahabad 47.8 °C (118.0 °F)
Allahabad 47.8 °C (118.0 °F)
Hyderabad 46 °C (115 °F)
Hyderabad 46 °C (115 °F)
Delhi 45.5 °C (113.9 °F)
Delhi 45.5 °C (113.9 °F)
Jharsuguda 45.4 °C (113.7 °F)
Jharsuguda 45.4 °C (113.7 °F)
A map marking significantly affected cities
Date Since May 2015
Location  India
Casualties
As of 3 June 2015, there were at least 2,500 deaths[1]

In May 2015, India was struck by a severe heat wave.[2] As of 3 June 2015, it has caused the deaths of at least 2,500 people[1] in multiple regions.[3][4] The heat wave occurred during the Indian dry season, which typically lasts from March to July with peak temperatures in April and May.[5] Although it typically remains hot until late October, Indian monsoons often provide some respite from the heat.[6]

The South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring Telangana, where more than 1,735 and 585 people died respectively, were the areas most affected by the heat wave. Other casualties were from the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha.[3][7] The high demand for electricity to power air conditioning led to power outages in some cities.[4] The 2015 heat wave has had the highest recorded temperatures since 1995.[8][9] In May 2016, a new record was set in Phalodi.[10]

Background[edit]

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a heat wave is qualified when air temperatures of at least 40 °C (104 °F) in the plains or greater than 30 °C (86 °F) in the hilly regions. For the IMD classification of heat waves, temperatures greater than 46 °C (114.8 °F) are considered and classified as severe heat waves.[11]

Every year India experiences severe heat waves in summer, but in the year 2015, casualties were abnormally high. Most of the deaths were concentrated in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar. More than 20,000 people have died of heat-related causes in India since 1990. In the recent past, the most severe period of hot weather occurred in 1995, when 1,677 people died due to a series of heatwaves. 793 people died in 2011 while 1,247 died in 2012 due to heat related causes. In 2013, 1,216 people died due to the heat.[3] With over 2,500 deaths, the heat wave has proven to be the most deadly since 1979.[12] The casualties crossed the mark of previous years rapidly in 2015.[13][14][15]

Causes[edit]

The heat wave was caused in large part by sparser pre-monsoon season showers, which brought less moisture than normal to the area, leaving large parts of India arid and dry. The sudden end of pre-monsoon rain showers, an uncommon trend in India, has contributed to the heat waves.[14][16] Additionally, the monsoon season is later and further south than the normal trend.[17] This weather pattern, coupled with the El Niño effect, which often increases temperatures in Asia, combined to create the record high temperatures. High humidity compounded the effects of the temperatures on residents.[18] The Loo, a dry wind originating from Pakistan and northwest India, has contributed to increasing the temperature in India.[19]

Affected areas[edit]

State Number of deaths As of
Andhra Pradesh 1,735 3 June 2015[20]
Telangana 585 3 June 2015[20]
Odisha 35[α] 5 June 2015[21]
Uttar Pradesh 22 30 May 2015[22]
West Bengal 13 27 May 2015[8]
Gujarat 10 28 May 2015[23]
Madhya Pradesh 10 29 May 2015[24]
Delhi 5 27 May 2015[3]
Maharashtra 2 27 May 2015[8]
Rajasthan 2 25 May 2015[25]
Chhattisgarh 1 25 May 2015[26]
Bihar 1 29 May 2015[27]
Karnataka 1 30 May 2015[28]
Total 2,500 3 June 2015[29]

The heat wave affected many people in various states and regions, including Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand. On 21 May the temperature in the Indian capital, New Delhi, was reported to be 42.6 °C (108.7 °F), with black asphalt roads reportedly melting and pedestrian crossing stripes curling.[18][30] On the same day, a temperature of 45.4 °C (113.7 °F) was recorded in Jharsuguda and at least 12 people were reported dead due to heat stroke the following day.[18] On 24 May in Allahabad, a temperature of 47.7 °C (117.9 °F) was recorded.[31][32] Cities such as Delhi and Kolkata recorded 44.5 °C (112.1 °F) and 36.0 °C (96.8 °F) on the same day, respectively.[32] In the state of Odisha, 23 people died of heat stroke by 24 May.[5] Many deaths occurred in the state of Andhra Pradesh where at least 246 people have died by 25 May.[15]

The temperature in Hyderabad on 21 May was 46 °C (115 °F) and on 22 May was 44.3 °C (111.7 °F), above the normal maximum of 39.9 °C (103.8 °F) recorded on the same day in the previous years.[33] On the following day the temperature in the city was also above a normal maximum temperature, at 43.6 °C (110.5 °F) compared to 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) recorded on the same day in earlier years.[33] On 24 May, Khammam recorded its highest ever temperature at 48.0 °C (118.4 °F).[32][34] The air temperature on hill stations like Mussoorie, situated 2,010 metres (6,580 ft) above sea level, rose to 36.0 °C (96.8 °F).[32]

On 25 May, more than 90 deaths due to sun stroke were recorded in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The temperature on that day continued to be above normal, especially in the coastal Andhra region where the maximum temperature recorded was 47.0 °C (116.6 °F) in Guntur district.[35][36] The highest temperature in India recorded on that day was at 47.6 °C (117.7 °F) in Titlagarh, Odisha.[37]

By 3 June, 50 lakh (five million) chicken were killed by the heat wave across Telangana within a span of two weeks, causing the price of eggs and chickens to rise throughout the state as well as in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.[38]

On 3 June, rainfall caused the temperatures to decrease in many areas of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. No heat-related deaths were reported on that day across the two states. The highest temperature recorded on the same day was 43 °C (109 °F) in Nizamabad.[20] On 5 June, Odisha reported temperatures to have decreased to less than 40.0 °C (104.0 °F) across the state, but the humidity continued to be high.[21]

Recorded temperatures[edit]

Date Place Temperature
21 May 2015 Jharsuguda 49.4 °C (120.9 °F)
21 May 2015 Hyderabad 46.0 °C (114.8 °F)
24 May 2015 Allahabad 47.7 °C (117.9 °F)
24 May 2015 Khammam 48.0 °C (118.4 °F)
25 May 2015 Delhi Airport 46.4 °C (115.5 °F)
25 May 2015 Safdarjung (Delhi) 45.5 °C (113.9 °F)
27 May 2015 Daltonganj 47.0 °C (116.6 °F)
29 May 2015 Palamau 47.0 °C (116.6 °F)
29 May 2015 Chandrapur 47.6 °C (117.7 °F)
30 May 2015 Nagpur 47.1 °C (116.8 °F)
8 June 2015 Allahabad 47.8 °C (118.0 °F)
9 June 2015 Allahabad 47.6 °C (117.7 °F)
10 June 2015 Delhi Airport 44.6 °C (112.3 °F)
10 June 2015 Bhubaneswar 44.0 °C (111.2 °F)
11 June 2015 Kolkata 39.0 °C (102.2 °F)

Relief efforts[edit]

The government of Andhra Pradesh announced 100,000 rupees to the next of kin of people killed in the heatwave in the state. Drinking water, oral rehydration salts and intravenous fluids were made available at public places like railway stations and bus stations. Emergency medical camps are set up across the state.[specify] An awareness campaign was launched advising citizens to not leave their homes at noon unless absolutely necessary.[39]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This is the official sun stroke death toll in Odisha, not the overall heat wave death toll.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.theweathernetwork.com/uk/news/articles/indias-deadly-heatwave-nears-end-as-monsoon-arrives/52420/
  2. ^ "If cold waves are officially listed as natural calamities, why not heat waves?". 
  3. ^ a b c d "Respite from heat likely from today". The Hindu (in Kinyarwanda). 27 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Hospitals in India struggle to cope with an influx of patients after heatwave claims more than 1,700 lives". ABC News. 
  5. ^ a b "Число жертв жары в Индии превысило 60 человек" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Singh, Sarina (15 September 2010). Lonely Planet India. Lonely Planet. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-74220-347-8. 
  7. ^ "India heatwave toll passes 1,000". BBC. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Hospitals overwhelmed as India heatwave deaths near 1,500". Channel NewsAsia. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "You're experiencing world's 5th deadliest heatwave ever". 
  10. ^ "India Records Its Hottest Temperature Ever Amid Heat Wave". NYT. NYC, USA. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "Heat Wave - National Disaster Management Authority". ndma.gov.in. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Kunal Sehgal (29 May 2015). "With over 1,800 dead, this is India's deadliest heat wave since 1979". Quartz India. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Intense heatwave in many parts of India, toll 1242". The Times of India. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Harmeet Shah Singh; Rishabh Pratap; Ravi Agrawal (26 May 2015). "Heat wave kills more than 1,100 in India". CNN. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Massive India heatwave 'kills 500'". BBC. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Heatwave claims over 1,100 across country, temperatures soaring". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Press Release: Current status of southwest monsoon 2015 and forecasts" (PDF). Press Release - Weekly Press. Government of India, Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences, India Meteorological Department. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  18. ^ a b c "Blazing sun bakes large parts of India, heat wave claims dozens of lives; El Nino effect emerges". Hindustan Times. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Fantz, Ashley (29 May 2015). "India's scorcher: What's behind the heat wave and when will it end?". CNN. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c "No fresh heatwave deaths as rains hit Andhra Pradesh, Telangana". Firstpost. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Heat Wave Condition Eases in Odisha; Sunstroke Kills 35". NDTV. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Rain brings little relief to southern India as heatwave death toll nears 2,200". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Two more die as Ahmedabad sizzles at 43.2°C". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Siddharth Ranjan Das (30 May 2015). "In Madhya Pradesh, Heat Wave Kills 10, Cripples Businesses". NDTV.com. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "At 46 deg Celcius, [sic] scorching heat in Rajasthan claims 2 lives". News18. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Three including kids die due to heatstroke in Chhattisgarh, several bats too found dead". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "Heat wave continues in Bihar". Business Standard. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Heat, lightning kills two in Karnataka". Business Standard. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "India minister blames climate change for deadly heatwave, weak monsoon". Reuters UK. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "India heatwave kills 800 as capital's roads melt". AlJazeera. AFP. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  31. ^ "UP under the grip of heat wave; Allahabad hottest at 47.7 deg". Zee News. 
  32. ^ a b c d "Heatwave sweeps across India, 335 people dead". The Times of India. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "Heat wave to worsen over the years: Study". The Times of India. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  34. ^ "Hundreds Are Dying in a Blistering Heat Wave Sweeping Across India". Time. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  35. ^ "Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; death toll crosses 800". Times of India. IANS. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  36. ^ (in Vietnamese) 750 người chết trong năm tuần nắng nóng ở Ấn Ðộ. May 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  37. ^ Kapur, Mallika; Whiteman, Hillary. "India's poor swelter as deadly heat wave kills more than 1,400". CNN. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  38. ^ Sikdar, Prabeerkumar. "Heatwave kills 50 lakh chickens in Telangana, prices soar". Times of India. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  39. ^ "Mega heat wave kills over 1,400 with majority in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana: The bad news is it will get worse". Firstpost. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.