Deserted streets, closed schools - the heat is on!(Roundup)

May 5th, 2008 - 8:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) The rising heat levels in the northern Indian plains - with the exception of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh - led to early declaration of summer holidays for schools in the Jharkhand capital even as streets in most parts of Uttar Pradesh wore a deserted look as not many dared to expose themselves to the blazing sun. Ranchi district authorities Monday directed schools to advance their summer vacations as temperatures crossed 40 degrees at several places. Around 10 schools announced the start of summer holidays Monday itself.

“We will close our school from Tuesday,” said D.R. Singh, principal of DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir in Ranchi, where the mercury touched 40 degrees celsius Sunday.

The heat wave has already claimed four lives in Jharkhand. While it was 44 degrees in Dhanbad Sunday, Jamshepur and Bokaro also saw temperatures of up to 43 degrees.

While it was really hot till afternoon in Delhi, there was a cloud cover by evening - bringing some relief to Delhiites. The met department said there was a possibility of rain and thundershowers.

The capital city recorded a maximum of 43 degrees Celsius in the last 24 hours.

Said Rohit Patra, an MNC executive: “Since I drive a bike, I don’t go for field work after 11 a.m. I carry at least three bottles of water with me all the time.”

In Uttar Pradesh, streets wore a curfew-like look in the afternoon as people tried their best to escape the scorching sun. But for many, it was hot indoors too owing to long power cuts.

Lucknow recorded a maximum of 38.8 Monday, but the worst affected was the drought-hit Bundelkhand region. Orai in Jalaun district recorded a 44.8 degrees Sunday.

The other major cities too saw the mercury soaring. While it was 44.4 degrees Celsius in Agra, Allahabad, Meerut and Varanasi were all above 41 degrees.

While most people complained of the heat wave conditions, Ramdin, a juice stall owner in Lucknow, was happy.

“Yes, the heat is unbearable …it is in fact scorching. But I still come for work because this is the time I earn my bread,” he told IANS. “I come out in the sun when others look for shades to hide under,” he said.

Himachal Pradesh, however, had some respite from the heat as most parts of the state witnessed thundershowers Monday, a day after state capital Shimla experienced its hottest day this summer.

The mercury rose to 28.7 degrees celsius Sunday in Shimla - the highest this summer - but plummeted after the rains.

The showers brought much relief to people in the lower hills of Himachal Pradesh, which had seen temperatures rising over 30 degrees celsius.

There was light snowfall in the high reaches of the tribal Lahaul and Spiti Valley, including the 13,050-ft Rohtang pass, bringing down the temperatures to freezing point.

There were light to moderate showers in several parts of Haryana and at some places temperatures fell by five-seven degrees.Karnal town received 8 mm of rain.

Chandigarh was at a cooler maximum of 36.2 degrees compared to 41.2 Sunday.

“It was such enjoyable weather Monday morning,” said law executive Shikha Jain.

But met officials warned that “the day temperature on Tuesday is expected to rise”.

But in adjoining Punjab, Amritsar continued to be scorching at 43.8 degrees, 7 degrees above normal.

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