25 cases of sunburn reported as mercury hovers around 41 degrees Celsius.

With temperatures hovering around 41 degrees Celsius for the past couple of days, 25 cases of sunburn have been reported from different parts of the district.

Mundai, 64, of Chennampattappady Laksham Veedu Colony at Kavalapara, near Shoranur, and Sherif of Chinikkode Theruvu, Melarcode, got sunburnt on Tuesday, taking the total number of the people affected to 25.

The heat wave took the atmospheric temperature in Palakkad town and surrounding areas to 41 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

The highest temperature of this season was recorded at the IRTC, Mundur, near Palakkad town, at 41 degrees Celsius on March 20. On Wednesday too, the maximum temperature recorded at Mundur was 41 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was 24 degree Celsius.

On Tuesday, the maximum temperature at Mundur was 41 degrees Celsius and the minimum 25 degrees Celsius.

The maximum temperature recorded at the sub-centre of Kerala Agricultural University at Pattambi on Wednesday was 40.1 degrees Celsius and the minimum was 24, as against the 38.2 degrees Celsius (maximum) and 23.5 (minimum) on Tuesday.

The district has been reeling under a severe heat wave in the past two weeks, with many water sources, including the Bharathapuzha and its tributaries, drying up. This has resulted in an acute drinking water scarcity in many parts.

The district administration has issued orders effecting a change in the working hours of those labouring in the open during the day.

P.S. Panikkar, organising secretary, Bharathapuzha Samrakshana Samithy, however, said neither the State government nor the district administration had taken any drought-relief measures citing the Lok Sabha elections.

Though Palakkad was experiencing climate change, as was evident from the unprecedented rise in temperature and the drought conditions, no steps had been taken to study it, he alleged. Despite a report of the State Action Plan on Climatic Change (SAPCC) that had listed Palakkad as one of the climate change hot spots in the State, neither the Meteorology Department nor the Irrigation authorities had taken steps to record the high temperature experienced in the district.

One dead

Special Correspondent writes from Kollam: Thankappan, 77, of Nettayam, near Anchal, in Kollam, reportedly died of sunburns at a private hospital here on Wednesday. He was taking bath in a roofless washroom when he fainted in the afternoon. His relatives rushed him to the hospital but could not be saved.

Health Department authorities in Kollam did not confirm sunburn as the cause of death.

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