Animals collapse, water shortages bite amid India’s searing heat

Animals collapse, water shortages bite amid India’s searing heat
Animals collapse, water shortages bite amid India’s searing heat

Hello and welcome to the details of Animals collapse, water shortages bite amid India’s searing heat and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A woman sprays water in front of her roadside home during the heat wave in Ahmedabad, India, May 30, 2024. — Reuters pic

NEW DELHI, May 30 — Animals collapsed, people jumped on water tankers with buckets amid shortages and government employees changed their work hours as blistering summer heat kept its grip on north India today.

Although today’s readings were marginally lower in Delhi than the previous day when one area recorded an all-time high of 52.9 degree Celsius, the region still saw temperatures touching 47 Celsius.

Delhi, which has a population of 20 million, recorded its first heat-related death yesterday, with a 40-year old labourer dying of heatstroke, local media reported. Authorities said they are investigating if the 52.9 Celsius reading in the Mungeshpur neighbourhood yesterday was caused by a sensor error at the local weather station.

Television images showed people chasing water tankers or climbing on top of them in parts of the city to fill containers amidst an acute water shortage that the government blames on low levels in the Yamuna River - Delhi’s primary source of water.

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Along the river’s banks, women in shanties endured stifling conditions in their homes as their cooking stoves aggravated the sweltering weather.

“The heat is worse this year. We work like this every day so we get into the habit,” said Seema, 19, who cooks for her family twice a day.

In the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, a policeman used CPR to revive a monkey that he said had fainted and fallen from a tree because of the heat, pumping its chest for 45 minutes, local media reported, and Delhi also saw cases of heatstroke among birds.

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As more people chose to order food and groceries by home delivery instead of venturing out in the heat, delivery personnel have been spending more time on their scooters and motorbikes, their employers said.

“Order frequency has been higher during the afternoon when people are avoiding stepping out,” said Ateef Shaikh, a delivery fleet manager at a Swiggy delivery app store in Mumbai.

Zomato and its grocery delivery business, Blinkit, have taken additional measures to help delivery workers, including providing refreshments and comfortable clothing, their spokespersons said.

Blinkit is installing air coolers in the waiting areas of all its stores, the spokesperson added.

The extreme temperatures have also sparked more fires in several parts of the country, including in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, where authorities are using drones to monitor forest fires.

The country, which is nearing the end of multi-phase national elections, is not alone in experiencing unusually high temperatures. Billions across Asia are grappling with the heat and in neighbouring Pakistan the temperature crossed 52 degrees Celsius this week.

Scientists say this trend has been worsened by human-driven climate change.

India, the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has long held that, as a developing nation, it should not be forced to cut its energy-related emissions but has set a target of becoming a net-zero emitter by 2070. — Reuters

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