• Thursday, June 20, 2024


Delhi hits all-time high temperature of 52.3 Celsius

The IMD reported “severe heat-wave conditions” and posted the temperature automatically on its website after it was recorded by a station in the Delhi suburb of Mungeshpur on Wednesday afternoon

A man waits for customers displaying fans at his store amid rising temperatures in Delhi. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Temperatures in India’s capital reached a record high of 52.3 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to figures from the government’s weather bureau. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned of dangerous heat levels in the city.

The IMD reported “severe heat-wave conditions” and posted the temperature automatically on its website after it was recorded by a station in the Delhi suburb of Mungeshpur on Wednesday afternoon. However, IMD meteorologist Soma Sen Roy stated that officers were “checking out” whether the station recorded it correctly.

This recording not only surpassed the 50C mark for the first time in the city but also broke the previous national record in Rajasthan by over one degree Celsius. The IMD has issued a red alert health notice for Delhi, home to more than 30 million people, warning of a “very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages” and advising “extreme care for vulnerable people.”

As residents sought relief, the electricity grid faced a record peak power demand of 8,302 megawatts, according to official data. Delhi city authorities also warned of severe water shortages and ordered measures to prevent wastage.

Temperatures were more than 11 degrees higher than expected on the second day of record-breaking heat. The previous national record was 51C, set in 2016 in Phalodi, Rajasthan.

India frequently experiences high summer temperatures, but climate change is causing heatwaves to become longer, more frequent, and more intense. Delhi residents said there was little they could do to avoid the heat.

“Everyone wants to stay indoors,” said snack-seller Roop Ram, 57, who struggled to sell his fritters. Ram, living with his wife and two sons in a small house, said their fan did little to cool them down. “We are just waiting for the monsoon,” he said.

Rani, 60, who travels by bus for two hours each morning to sell jewelry, said, “It is definitely hotter, but there is nothing we can do about it.” She brought water from home and refilled it from others when needed.

Delhi authorities also warned of water shortages as the heat persisted. Delhi Water Minister Atishi said supplies had been halved in many areas to boost flow to “water-deficient areas.” Atishi ordered 200 teams to address water wastage at construction sites and commercial properties.

Delhi relies heavily on water from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, neighboring states with high water demands. The Yamuna river, which flows through Delhi, has reduced flow during summer months.

Pakistan also experienced a week-long heatwave, with temperatures peaking at 53C on Sunday in Mohenjo Daro. Pakistan’s meteorological office expected temperatures to decrease from Wednesday but warned of more heatwaves in June.

Meanwhile, India’s West Bengal and Mizoram states are recovering from a cyclone that hit India and Bangladesh on Sunday, killing at least 65 people. Bangladesh’s Meteorological Department called the cyclone “one of the longest in the country’s history” and attributed the shift to climate change.


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