Fatalities with suspected heat stroke
Die unusually early heat wave According to Indian authorities, dozens of people have died in South Asia. As reported by the Indian press, the authorities in the Indian state of Maharashtra, which has the second largest population and is also home to the metropolis of Mumbai, have suspected heat stroke as the cause of death in 25 cases this year. These are more cases than in the same period in the previous six years. However, the actual number is likely to be even higher. While extreme temperatures are still forecast for some areas in the coming days, the situation eased somewhat in many regions of South Asia on Tuesday. The Indian weather agency reported light clouds and a cool down in some affected districts. She declared the heat wave there to be over for the time being. Temperatures are not expected to rise again for the next six to seven days.
Authorities issued a heat warning last week after maximum temperatures of 43 to 46 degrees were measured in north-west and central India. It was the hottest April in the area in 122 years. It is true that such temperatures are not unusual in India in summer. However, they were measured much earlier this year than usual. Some spoke of a “spring-free” year. The consequences are already dramatic. In some areas, power outages last for hours because coal has become scarce due to increased electricity consumption. Many people lack water. “This heat wave is testing the limits of human survivability,” climate scientist Chandni Singh told CNN.
Toxic smoke pollutes the air
On social media, some users demonstrated the heat by making flatbread on their bonnets. For many people in South Asia, the high temperatures have very serious consequences. Including agriculture, almost half of all workers in India are employed outdoors. For them there is little opportunity to escape the heat. Significant harvest losses due to the early summer heat are already expected. For some children in the affected areas, the holidays have already begun, as they were brought forward due to the extreme temperatures. In some places, the schools have also brought the start of classes forward so that the children do not have to sweat in the classroom during the hot midday hours.
According to climate scientists, South Asia is one of the regions that are particularly hard hit by global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had warned in its most recent report that climate change was leading to more intense and prolonged heat waves there. Around 6,500 people are said to have died in India as a result of heat waves since 2010. This year, the weather phenomenon La Niña also leads to high temperatures. The danger of fires increases. A huge garbage dump in Delhi has been on fire for a week. Toxic smoke pollutes the air. It is the fourth fire within a few weeks at one of the garbage dumps on the outskirts of the metropolis. The fire is said to have started from organic waste components.