Orissa gears up to tackle heat wave

April 12th, 2008 - 12:50 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, April 12 (IANS) Orissa Saturday sounded an alert in all its 30 districts, asking authorities to gear up to face a heat wave in parts of the state, with some areas already recording temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. The meteorological office at Bhubaneswar issued the season’s first heat wave warning Friday. The state capital recorded temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius Friday - the highest this year.

Jharsuguda town, nearly 300 km from here, has been witnessing 39 to 40 degrees Celsius temperatures for the past three-four days, an official of the meteorological office here told IANS.

“We have alerted that the heat wave condition will prevail for the next two days,” he said.

Said a state revenue department official: “We have alerted officials of all districts to remain prepared. They have been instructed to keep medicine stocks, ORS (oral re-hydration solution) powder to prevent dehydration in people coming to hospitals after a sunstroke.”

All schools have been instructed to introduce morning classes from April 1.

“But there are some private schools that have not enforced it as yet. We have asked all collectors to take action against them,” he said.

The state labour department has issued instructions to all private and government firms not to engage workers during peak hours of the day, particularly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., he said.

All passenger buses have been directed to carry first aid boxes and adequate drinking water, the official said.

“Orissa has witnessed heat wave conditions several times in the past and we don’t want to take chances,” he added.

In May 1998, over 2,000 people died in the state due to a severe heat wave. Titilagarh in Bolangir district recorded the state’s highest ever temperature of 50.1 degrees Celsius in June 2003.

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