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India Set to Face Scorching Heatwave Between April and June


India, the world’s most populous country, is bracing itself for an intense battle against extreme heatwave. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a stern warning: from April to June, the nation will experience scorching heat, with the central and western peninsular regions expected to be the hardest hit.

Heatwave and Lok Sabha Elections Coincide

The timing couldn’t be more critical. As India prepares for the Lok Sabha elections, around a billion people are expected to exercise their franchise. However, this democratic process will unfold amidst a relentless heat wave. Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, emphasized the urgency of preparedness: “Since we are the most populous country in the world and face extreme weather conditions, it makes it absolutely necessary for India to prepare in advance.”

IMD’s Forecast

According to the IMD, the month of April 2024 will witness above-normal maximum temperatures across most parts of the country. The central and western peninsulas are particularly vulnerable. Director-General of IMD, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, highlighted the regions likely to experience above-normal heatwave days: south peninsula, central India, east India, and the plains of northwest India.

Economic and Agricultural Implications

This prolonged heatwave poses significant challenges. For the third consecutive year, India grapples with the impact on its economy and agriculture. Concerns loom over wheat, rapeseed, and chickpea production. Additionally, there’s a risk of surpassing temperature records, which could exacerbate water scarcity and strain energy resources.

Precautionary Measures Against Heatwave

Stakeholders, including government bodies, local authorities, and citizens, must take precautionary measures. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Regularly consume water and hydrating fluids.
  2. Avoid Outdoor Activities During Peak Hours: Limit exposure to direct sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  3. Protect Vulnerable Populations: Pay special attention to children, the older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions.
  4. Cooling Centers: Establish cooling centers in urban areas to provide relief from the heat.
  5. Energy Conservation: Conserve energy to prevent strain on power grids.

A Call to Action

As India faces this formidable challenge, collective efforts are crucial. Let us prioritize safety, resilience, and community support during these sweltering months. Together, we can weather the heat and safeguard our nation.

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