Eastern India Battles Deadly Heatwave: 27 Fatalities and Counting

At least 27 people, including 10 polling personnel, have died due to heatstroke in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha over the past few days. Scorching temperatures have prompted state governments to take preventive measures, including closing schools and providing medical facilities for heatstroke patients.

PTI | Patna | Updated: 31-05-2024 20:41 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 20:41 IST
Eastern India Battles Deadly Heatwave: 27 Fatalities and Counting
AI Generated Representative Image
  • Country:
  • India

At least 18 people, including 10 polling personnel, have succumbed to heatstroke in the eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand over the past 24 hours, officials said on Friday.

While 14 fatalities were recorded in Bihar, four were reported from neighboring Jharkhand, they added.

Odisha government confirmed five deaths due to sunstroke over the past few days, with investigations ongoing into 18 suspected cases.

In a statement by Bihar's disaster management department, the majority of fatalities were reported from Bhojpur, where five officials on election duty died of heatstroke. Three election officials died in Rohtas, and one each in Kaimur and Aurangabad districts. Additionally, four other individuals died in various parts of the state. The process of granting ex gratia to the families of the deceased has commenced, the statement added.

The state is grappling with scorching temperatures, with the mercury soaring above 44 degrees Celsius in several places. Buxar recorded the highest temperature at 47.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Due to the heatwave conditions, all schools, coaching institutes, and anganwadi centers will remain closed until June 8.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed district magistrates (DMs) to take preventative measures to tackle the situation.

Kumar instructed that arrangements should be made at every level for the safety of common people across the state, according to a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).

''There should be adequate arrangements of drinking water at various places in all districts. The public should be made aware of the symptoms of heatwaves and their prevention. Provide immediate medical facilities to everyone in case of illness. People affected by heatwaves should be treated immediately in hospitals/medical colleges,'' the statement quoted him as saying.

In Jharkhand, four persons died of sunstroke, with 1,326 others admitted to hospitals due to heat-related issues. All district hospitals and medical facilities have been instructed to allocate air-conditioned rooms and beds for heatstroke patients.

Dr. Alok Trivedi, Mission Director of the National Health Mission in Jharkhand, said, ''Four persons - three in Palamu and one in Jamshedpur - died of heatstroke in Jharkhand. These deaths did not occur in hospitals. As many as 1,326 people were admitted to hospitals in different districts of the state due to heat-related issues. Out of these, 63 are confirmed cases of heatstroke so far.

Most districts in Jharkhand recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, with temperatures surpassing 47 degrees Celsius in places like Daltonganj and Garhwa. Odisha government confirmed five deaths due to sunstroke over the past few days, with officials saying that investigations are ongoing into 18 suspected cases. Satyabrata Sahu, Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner, said one death each has been confirmed in Balasore, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Sonepur, and Bolangir. Reports of 18 suspected sunstroke deaths have been received, with post-mortem examinations required to confirm the exact cause, he added.

Ashutosh Kulkarni, additional district magistrate of Sundargarh, reported that 10 heatstroke patients are currently receiving treatment at a private hospital in Rourkela, with 23 others admitted to Rourkela Government Hospital, all in stable condition. In Jharsuguda, chief district medical officer Jayakrushna Nayak mentioned that six unnatural death cases are under investigation to determine if they were due to heatstroke.

Preliminary investigations suggest that most sunstroke deaths occurred due to work during peak hours, primarily affecting labourers and truck drivers. District administrations have been instructed to investigate these deaths, with strict warnings against engaging workers during peak hours, as per the Disaster Management Act.

With the Indian Meteorological Department forecasting continued heatwave conditions until June 3, Sahu urged residents, especially those in undivided Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, and Boudh districts, to stay indoors during peak hours. Coastal regions are also expected to experience hot and humid weather conditions, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback