Heat kills 30 in Bengal, officials swing into action

June 5th, 2012 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) Amid reports of over 30 deaths, apparently due to an intense heat wave in southern West Bengal, the state administration has started taking precautionary measures.

“We have received reports of 16 unnatural deaths from various hospitals in the Burdwan district Tuesday,” District Magistrate O.S. Meena told IANS.

“Keeping in mind the intense heat wave which might result in casualties, we have arranged for additional beds and generators at the hospitals,” he said.

“Drinking water tankers are also being placed in various parts and schools have been asked to extend the summer holidays,” Meena said.

There have been reports of deaths from various parts of the state, including Kolkata and Howrah.

While Hooghly reported three such deaths, four people succumbed to the heat in Jhargram in West Midnapore.

Two deaths each due to intense heat were reported from Howrah and Kolkata, district sources said.

Officials of several other district administrations have taken similar precautionary steps.

While the mercury touched 40.2 degrees Celsius in Kolkata — five degrees above normal - the temperature rose even higher in other parts of south Bengal.

The Regional Meteorological Centre forecast the heat wave would continue and said a change in the weather conditions was unlikely in the next 24 hours.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked the education department to order the schools to extend the summer holidays till June 17.

The intense heat has even forced advocates of the Calcutta High Court to declare cessation of work till Monday.

“We have decided not to work till Monday due to the heat. A notification in this regard has been made,” said an advocate.

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