Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

36 Die in India Heat Wave, Delhi Records Its Highest All-Time Temperature

Climate
Volunteers distribute water during one of India's most intense heat waves. NARINDER NANU / AFP / Getty Images

Four elderly pilgrims died while riding in a non-air-conditioned train car as India's deadly heat wave continues, The Times of India reported Tuesday.


The four, aged between 69 and 81, had been returning from the holy city of Varanasi to Kerala in the south, The Independent reported. Railway official Manoj Kumar said they collapsed in their carriage and were pronounced dead by doctors waiting at the Jhansi station.

The deaths come as the total number of fatalities in one of India's most intense and longest-lasting heat waves has reached at least 36, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Temperatures have soared to 50.6 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit), and the high temperatures are expected to impact 23 states this year, up from nine in 2015 and 19 in 2018, India's National Disaster Management Authority expert Anup Kumar Srivastava said.

"This year, the number of heat wave days [has] also increased — and it's not just day temperature, night temperatures have also been high," Srivastava told The New York Times.

India has increasingly suffered from extreme heat in recent years. 2018 was the country's sixth hottest year on record, and 11 of its 15 warmest years have occurred since 2004, The Independent reported. The capital of New Delhi broke its all-time record Monday with a high of 48 degrees Celsius, according to The Times of India.

"Science as well as our subjective experiences has made it unequivocally clear that longer, hotter and deadlier summers are poised to become the norm due to climate change," environmental researcher Hem Dholakia wrote, as The Independent reported.

This year's heat wave has closed schools and universities, prompted authorities to use water to cool baking streets and forced police to guard water tankers in Madhya Pradesh state after fights over supply turned deadly, The Independent reported.

In one shocking incident, around 15 monkeys died in Joshi Baba forest range in Bagli, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. Forest officials think they might have died of heat stroke after another group of monkeys prevented them from accessing the closest water source, India Today reported.

Overall, however, the death toll from India's heat waves has actually decreased in the last four years. More than 2,000 people died in 2015, but that number fell to 375 in 2017 and 20 in 2018, The New York Times reported. Officials say this is because the government has made an effort to reduce the death toll by encouraging residents to reduce or alter the time spent working on hot days and by providing free drinking water to hard-hit populations. However, Srivastava said the government's resources had been taxed this year by the country's huge national election.

The current heat wave may drag on, as monsoon rains have been delayed this year.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less