India heatwave: New Delhi records highest-ever temperature at 49.9℃

Authorities have warned of the risk of water shortages as the capital swelters in an intense heatwave

By Agencies

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Wed 29 May 2024, 9:12 AM

Last updated: Wed 29 May 2024, 1:42 PM

India's weather department issued a red alert for several parts of the country's northwest on Wednesday, warning of a severe heat wave a day after parts of the capital Delhi recorded their highest temperature ever at almost 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

Temperatures in India's capital soared to a record-high 49.9℃ (121.8 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, the government's weather bureau said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which reported "severe heat-wave conditions", recorded the temperatures at two Delhi suburbs stations at Narela and Mungeshpur. Forecasters predict similar temperatures on Wednesday.

In May 2022, parts of Delhi hit 49.2℃ (120.5 Fahrenheit), Indian media reported at the time.

India is no stranger to searing summer temperatures. But years of scientific research have found climate change is causing heatwaves to become longer, more frequent and more intense.

New Delhi authorities have also warned of the risk of water shortages as the capital swelters in an intense heatwave -- cutting supplies to some areas.

Water Minister Atishi Marlena has called for "collective responsibility" to stop wasteful water use, the Times of India newspaper reported Wednesday.

"To address the problem of water scarcity, we have taken a slew of measures such as reducing water supply from twice a day to once a day in many areas," Atishi said, the Indian Express reported.

"The water thus saved will be rationed and supplied to the water-deficient areas where supply lasts only 15 to 20 minutes a day," she added.

The IMD warned of the heat's impact on health, especially for infants, the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

At the same time, West Bengal state and the northeastern state of Mizoram have been hit by gales and lashing rains from Cyclone Remal, which hit India and Bangladesh on Sunday, killing more than 38 people.

Bangladesh's Meteorological Department said the cyclone was "one of longest in the country's history", blaming climate change for the shift.


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