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Heatwave sweeps Prakasam and Nellore districts

Mercury breaches 43° C-mark; 53 deaths have been reported in Chittoor district so far

May 22, 2019 12:05 am | Updated 12:05 am IST - NELLORE/ONGOLE/CHITTOOR

Dog days:  A rickshaw-puller taking a nap on a hot day in Visakhapatnam.

Dog days: A rickshaw-puller taking a nap on a hot day in Visakhapatnam.

People suffered from sweltering heat all through the day as mercury crossed 43 degrees Celsius mark at several places in SPSR Nellore and Prakasam districts on Tuesday.

All major roads in Nellore, including the usually busy VRC Centre, wore a deserted look as people experienced heat wave conditions right from the morning.

Kavali recorded a very high temperature of 44 deg C. The mercury touched the 43 degrees C mark in, among other places, Nellore, Udayagiri, Atmakur, Kovur, Gudur and Venkatagiri.

In Prakasam district, Pedaraveedu recorded a very 45.7 deg C followed by Rajampalli (45.1 C), Chimakurthy(44.7 C), Dupadu(44.4 C), Kandukur town (44 C). People sweated in, among other places, Markapur, where the mercury touched 43 degrees C mark and Giddalur (42). The maximum temperature was a high 41 deg C each in Ongole and Chirala.

Officials asked the people to remain indoor between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the next two days also as heat wave conditions are likely to continue. Those who venture out on pressing engagements were asked to take enough precautionary measures like consuming a lot of liquids and compulsorily carry umbrellas with them.

Worst in a decade

Chittoor district is reeling under scorching summer heat, with temperatures hovering between 40 to 45 degrees Celsius in several areas. From the first week of April till May 21, the district health officials recorded 52 suspected sunstroke deaths. On Wednesday, a septuagenarian died of sunstroke at Tamballapalle.

The phenomenon is considered first of its kind in the region since a decade. The heat wave conditions are forcing NREGS and construction workers to complete their work early. With drying of pasture, cattle and sheep rearers are having a tough time find fodder for their cattle, and are negotiating long distances.

Generally summer peaks in Chittoor district from the first week of May. This year, the temperature started soaring from April itself. The temperatures which usually used to be below 40 degrees C in April soared to over 42 degrees. Last week, Varadaiahpalem mandal recorded 46 degrees Celsius, forcing people to stay the public to stay indoors most times.

In contrast, the weather in the western mandals from Palamaner to Kuppam is considerably cool. Kuppam has been receiving constant summer showers since a fortnight, and the temperatures dipped below 36 degrees, with cooler nights. The summer has been harsh in the eastern mandals of Nagari, Puttur, Narayanavanam, Nagalapuram, KVB Puram, B.N. Kandriga, Varadaiahpalem, Srikalahasti, Thottambedu and Satyavedu. Meanwhile, the government area hospitals at Nagari and Puttur are seeing steady increase with at least 25 cases reported every day.

DMHO Rama Giddaiah told The Hindu that while 52 suspected sunstroke casualties took place in the district, one case had been confirmed. He said that it would take time for declaring the cases officially, involving investigation. “We have supplied thousands of ORS sachets to the public,” he added.

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