Sweltering heat melts much of Asia with temperatures likely to rise further
Much of Asia is being scorched by record-breaking heat, forcing early closure of schools and even deaths in India and China. Mercury is inching higher and higher each day in several parts. Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist and weather historian, calls it the “worst April heatwave in Asian history”.
In India, temperatures have shattered records for the month of April and experts fear that extreme heat could get worse in the country this year. A heatwave is going on in the north and east Indian states and the meteorological department has issued an orange warning of a severe heatwave in parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal for this week.
“Heatwave conditions are likely to continue over West Bengal and parts of Bihar for the next four days. Accordingly, we have issued an orange alert for the region in view of humidity and high temperatures. People should take precautionary measures. The region is likely to see thunderstorm activity from day five when heatwave conditions may abate,” the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.
A temperature of above 44 degree Celsius was recorded in six cities in the north and east India. The national capital Delhi recorded 40.4 degree Celsius on Tuesday. Relief from the heatwave is far-fetched as of now and it is expected to continue till at least Friday.
A few days back, in Maharashtra, 13 people died and several more were treated for heatstroke after attending an outdoor event. Schools in the state of West Bengal, Tripura and Odisha have been shut down due to the extreme heat after students complained of health issues due to the heat.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, temperatures breach the 40 degree Celsius mark in the capital city of Dhaka on Saturday. It was the hottest day in 58 years, causing road surfaces to melt. A temperature emergency might be declared if the heat does not recede soon, an official said.
In China, April temperatures have set new records in several locations, such as Chengdu, Zhejiang, Nanjing, Hangzhou and other areas of the Yangtze River delta region.
Several south-east Asian countries are also battling record heat. Luang Prabang in Laos recorded a temperature of 42.7 degree Celsius this week, the highest reliable temperature in its history, Herrera said. In Thailand, temperatures reached 44.6 degree Celsius in Tak province on Sunday. Temperatures are predicted to reach 45 degree Celsius this week.