Red Alert Issued for Heatwave in Delhi

Delhi is currently under a ‘red alert’ due to severe heatwave conditions forecasted for the next five days. Temperatures in various parts of the city have soared past 47 degrees Celsius, with Monday witnessing the second-highest maximum temperature of the season at 3.7 degrees above normal. Specific areas such as Najafgarh recorded a blistering 47.4 degrees Celsius, following a peak of 47.8 degrees the previous day, marking the highest in the country so far this year. This intense heat has not only strained the city’s infrastructure, pushing peak power demand to a record 7,572 MW in May, but has also prompted the Delhi government to mandate immediate summer vacations for all schools to ensure student safety.

The scorching temperatures have significantly impacted low-income households, which often struggle with inadequate access to cooling and water resources. The Delhi National Zoological Park has implemented additional measures to protect its animals, including installing water coolers, straw shelters, and providing fruit ice balls to help keep them cool. Meanwhile, the IMD has issued severe warnings about the health risks associated with the heatwave, especially for vulnerable populations such as infants, the elderly, and individuals with chronic illnesses. To mitigate these risks, the IMD recommends staying hydrated with water and homemade drinks like lassi and lemon water and avoiding direct heat exposure.

In light of the severe weather conditions, the IMD has advised extreme caution, urging the public to avoid dehydration and keep cool. The criteria for a heatwave are met when temperatures reach at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains with a significant departure from normal temperatures. As Delhi continues to grapple with these extreme conditions, the IMD’s seven-day forecast suggests maintaining vigilance and protecting vulnerable individuals from heat-related illnesses and heat strokes.

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