Delhi recorded its second hottest April in 72 years with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius even as parts of the country are sweltering in intense heatwaves. The furnace-like temperatures have led to hours-long blackouts.
The city recorded a high of 43.5 degrees Celsius on April 28 and April 29. This was the highest maximum temperature on an April day in Delhi in 12 years.
The weather department has issued an “orange” alert, warning people of a severe heatwave in many parts of Delhi.
Power outages compounded the misery of millions of people wilting in a heatwave across India, with experts blaming climate change for an early onset of roasting summer temperatures.
Power cuts were partly blamed on shortages of coal after an unusually hot March and April pushed up power demand and ate up stockpiles.
Many regions also reported falling water supplies that will only worsen until the annual monsoon rains in June and July.
Authorities also closed schools or reduced hours, with Bihar ordering classes to stop by 10:45 am and advising people not to be outside after midday.
On Thursday evening, the meteorological department issued an orange alert for the next five days for northwest and central India.
Severe heat waves are expected to stretch into early next month, meaning millions of people will have to endure more days of dangerous temperatures and hours-long blackouts.
The country hasn’t received the light summer rain that usually comes in April and May to lower temperatures and wash away dirty particulate matter.
Heatwaves have killed over 6,500 people in India since 2010, and scientists say climate change is making them harsher and more frequent across South Asia.
With inputs from NDTV