Is the Heat Wave in Central India a disaster?

By: Staff Reporter

New Delhi, May 21 (G’nY News Service): Central India is at present reeling under a severe heat wave. A few places in Madhya Pradesh and the Vidharba region of Maharashtra are experiencing temperatures as high as 46 to 47 degrees Celsius, which is a 4 to 5 degrees departure from normal. As per the National Disaster Management Authority, a heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season.

Although it is normal to experience heat waves during this period, India Meteorological Department’s forecast that the conditions are likely to prevail till May 23, 2015 is a cause of worry. With the temperatures spiking, further aggravated by the dry atmospheric conditions, deaths may sometimes result due to physiological stress.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) adds that when “actual maximum temperature remains 45oC or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, heat waves should be declared”.


(Photo courtesy: GnY photo bank)

It is being observed that higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change. India too is feeling the impact of climate change in terms of increased instances of heat waves which are more intense in nature with each passing year, and have a devastating impact on human health thereby increasing the number of heat wave casualties.

Take care of your health 

Dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke are typical outcomes of being caught in the scorch. If you are experiencing swelling, or fainting, accompanied by a fever you may be suffering from heat stress. Heat can also be exhausting and result in fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating. A potentially fatal condition, heat stroke results when body temperatures rise above 104oF or more along with delirium, seizures or coma.

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