Intense Heatwave likely to Abate over Delhi, North West India, Centre issues Advisory of Do’s and Don’ts

India Heatwave 2022:The intense heatwave spell is expected to subside over Delhi and northwest India from today, May 2, 2022, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). IMD has predicted the maximum temperatures to fall by 3-4 degrees. 

The maximum temperature in Delhi today is predicted to be 39 degrees Celsius, much below the 46 degrees Celsius that had been forecasted in the past days. The minimum temperature is expected to be 30 degrees Celsius. 

Other states including Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Kutch and Eastern Rajasthan are also expected to witness a fall in temperature in certain parts from today, bringing the much-needed relief to the people.

However, states like Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Rajasthan are expected to continue to witness intense heatwave conditions for another 24 hours with slight relief from May 3rd. 

Thunderstorm expected between May 3-4?

IMD has forecasted thunderstorm activity over Northwest and East India till May 4 and over Northeast India till May 3. Few isolated parts in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and eastern Rajasthan are expected to experience partly cloudy sky with the possibility of thunder development from May 2nd. 

This comes as much-welcome news as India has been reeling under intense heatwave conditions for the past couple of weeks, with temperatures rising to almost 45-46 degrees Celsius in certain parts. The average maximum temperature reached almost 35.9 degrees Celsius in northwest India and 37.78 degrees Celsius in central India.

Delhi recorded its second-hottest April in the last 27 years with the maximum temperature remaining above 40 degrees Celsius in the past week. 

Centre issues health advisory to beat the heatwave: Check do’s and don’ts

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had issued an advisory to the chief secretary of states on May 1, 2022 amid the rising temperature and heatwave across the country. He informed that the daily heat alerts that are being shared by IMD and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with States, which indicate heatwave forecast for the next 3-4 days, may be disseminated promptly at the district/health facility level.

The health Secretary also asked states to disseminate guidelines on the “National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses” at the district level and sensitise all health staff on early recognition and management of heat illness.
He also asked the states to ensure that sufficient drinking water is available at all health facilities and that the health facilities should prepare and review the availability of I.V. fluids, ice packs and ORS and all other necessary items for effective management of cases of heatwave. 

He also highlighted the need for the health facilities to increase resilience to extreme heat by arranging uninterrupted electricity for the constant functioning of cooling appliances to reduce indoor heat through cool/ green roof, window shades, shade outside etc.   

The states have also been urged to explore rainwater harvesting and recycling plants for self-sufficiency in water. 

Dos for General Population

  • Drink sufficient water even if you are not thirsty.
  • Carry drinking water when traveling
  • Use ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) and consume homemade drinks like lemon water, lassi and fruit juices with some added salt.
  • Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelon, musk melon, pineapple, orange, grapes, lettuce, cucumber and other locally available vegetables and fruits
  • Wear thin, loose and preferably light-coloured cotton garments. 
  • Cover your head using cap, towel, hat, umbrella and other traditional head gears during direct exposure to sunlight. 
  • Wear shoes or chappals while going out in the sun. 
  • Stay alert about local weather news through radio, TV, newspapers and other mediums. 
  • Stay indoors as much as possible in well-ventilated and cool places. 
  • Block direct sunlight by keeping windows and curtains closed during the day.
  • Limit outdoor activity to cooler times of the day like morning and evening. 

The centre has also listed people who are at greater risk of heat stress and heat-related illness-

-Young children, infants

-People working outdoors

-Pregnant women

-People with mental illness

-People who are physically ill, especially those with high blood pressure and heart ailment.

-People coming to hot climate from cooler climate zones ( Such people should allow one week’s time for their bodies to get acclimatized to heat and should drink plenty of water) 

-The elderly people or sick people living alone should be supervised and monitored daily.

Centre’s Don’ts

  • Avoid going out in the sun between 12-3 pm
  • Avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon
  • Do not go out barefoot
  • Avoid cooking during peak summer hours.
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the cooking area if cooking during peak summer hours. 
  • Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol and carbonated soft drinks or drinks with high sugar content, as these will lead to loss of body fluid and cause stomach cramps.
  • Avoid high protein food and do not eat stale food
  • Do not leave children in parked vehicles.

Indian Monsoon 2022

As per senior IMD Scientist RK Jenamani, the western disturbances are near Pakistan-Afghanistan and are moving towards Delhi and hence, thunderstorms or dust storms are likely to be experienced in northwest India in the coming days. 

IMD has given thunderstorm and dust storm warning for the whole of northwest India covering Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and West Uttar Pradesh.  The cloudy weather or dusty winds are expected to continue till May 5 and the temperature is expected to be normal between May 1-5. The Monsoon is expected to commence in India by May 15 as per the latest predictions by the weather office. 

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