BHUBANESWAR: With a potent mix of hot spell, power breakdown and acute water shortage, the prevailing heatwave on Thursday acquired more ferocity. Half the State turned into a hot cauldron with mercury soaring past 45 degree Celsius across western and northern districts. Known as the hot plate, the regions witnessed a sudden rise in the day temperature, as much as three to four degrees in a single day.
At least 39 people have perished so far. Weather office warned that the heatwave conditions would be unrelenting for the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Sambalpur emerged as the hottest town with mercury reading 45.5 degree C. Six other urban centres which recorded 45-plus temperature included Jharsuguda (45.1), Sundargarh (45), Hirakud (45.4), Balangir (45), Titlagarh (45.4) and Sonepur (45.2).
A number of coastal and interior districts also witnessed rising temperature and humid conditions. Balasore, Bhadrak, Khurda, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Angul all recorded 40-plus temperature.
The conditions prompted the State Government to issue a fresh advisory. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra asked the collectors to review heatwave conditions on a daily basis and take measures to address water supply, electricity and health issues. Public transport systems must carry water as well as oral rehydration solutions, the SRC stated in his advisory to the districts.
If needed, the bus operators can consider rescheduling their operation times, the Government said while asking Labour and Employment Department to ensure that working hours of workers are strictly adhered to by construction firms.
In Bhubaneswar, the hot and humid conditions continued though mercury dropped by about two degrees on Thursday. On Wednesday the City recorded 42.6.
At least 39 persons have reportedly died of sunstroke across the State so far though the Government has confirmed just one. Coastal district Jagatsinghpur reported seven deaths, while reports of at least six deaths came in from Keonjhar. Four deaths were reported from Bargarh and Bhadrak.
The SRC office said just one death, from Angul, has been confirmed as a sunstroke death. The deceased was identified as Panchu Boita of Badasada village. At least 19 deaths, for which final reports were received, were found to be due to other reasons, not sunstroke.