It is Delhi’s hottest April day in 50 years (Lead)

April 29th, 2009 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Delhi Wednesday recorded the hotest April day in the last 50 years with mercury touching 43.5 degrees Celsius, causing acute discomfort to the people in the capital. - The scorching sun caused ddeserted roads and those out of their homes on work had to take shelter under whatever offered little shade.
The maximum temperature was five degrees Celsius above what is normal for this time of the eyar while the minimum was 24.4 degrees Celsius, according to S.C. Bhan, director of India Meteorological Department (IMD) here.

“The maximum broke the record of the last 50 years for the month of April. The westerly winds blowing from Rajasthan have increased the day temperatures in northern India,” Bhan told IANS.

In April 1958, the mercury had touched 43.7 degrees Celsius, which still remains the hottest in Delhi for the month of April, Bhan said.

Many of the Delhi roads were deserted in the afternoon as high humidity added to the discomfort factor.

Those who had to be out of their homes on work or wait for city buses could be seen taking shelter under the shades of big trees, buildings, flyovers to escape the sweltering sun. Many on the roads were seen covering their heads with damp pieces of cloth to avoid sun stroke.

But ice-cream and cold drink sellers are making a quick buck with thirsty people lining their shops to get some solace from the sweltering heat and high humidity.

“It is hot. But for me it was a better day than any other day. There were too many thirsty customers today,” said Raju, a cold drink seller in Moti Bagh area of Delhi.

Asha Gupta, a housewife, felt like “a chicken in an oven” but she managed to beat the heat. “It was extremely hot outside. I did not step out of my house throughout the day and bathed at least three times.”

For Saurabh Asthana, a marketing executive, it seemed like everything was on fire. “It was like everything was burning outside as I drove to my office Wednesday morning. I gulped glasses of water to prevent dehydration as I was sweating throughout the day.”

No relief is expected in the coming days as the Met Office has predicted day temperature would hover around 43 degrees Celsius.

The sultry heat in the capital increased the power demand that shot up to 3,500 MW Wednesday, which the highest for the season till now.

“With the temperature rising in the last few days, the power demand has been increasing and it reached 3,500 MW Monday. To manage the demand, we resorted to load shedding of around 230 MW,” an official at Delhi power department told IANS

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