BHUBANESWAR: The gruelling heatwave claimed nine more lives in Odisha on Saturday as day temperature soared across the State. The official death toll jumped from 10 to 19 on a single day.
Such has been the impact of the scorching conditions that even Malkangiri, Odisha’s southernmost district, faced the heat. Of the nine deaths reported on Saturday, four came in from Malkangiri, while another four deaths were reported from Sundargarh. CuttacAk also recorded the season’s first sunstroke death.
The unofficial death toll, meanwhile, climbed to 81, from 68 on Friday. Sundargarh was on top of the list with 10 deaths while Dhenkanal and Keonjhar reported nine and eight deaths respectively. Bargarh, Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj recorded seven deaths each as maximum day temperature crossed 40-degree Celsius over most parts of interior and coastal Odisha.
Sambalpur remained the hottest place with mercury remaining stagnant at 46.7 degree C for the second day. Three more western Odisha towns __ Jharsuguda, Hirakud and Sonepur __ recorded 46 degree-plus temperature as conditions showed no signs of change. The day temperature rose by three to six degree Celsius above normal over many parts of the State.
As western, central and coastal Odisha reeled under the heatwave, the Met office warned that there will be no respite from the blistering conditions over the next week.
Given the tardy progress of the northern limit of south-west monsoon, the pre-monsoon showers too are likely to be delayed. This means prolonged miseries for the people of the State.
In Bhubaneswar, the maximum day temperature dropped by two degrees, but the night temperature rose __ from 28.5 degree C on Friday to 30 degree C on Sunday __ leaving the denizens in discomfort.