Orissa heat wave death toll rises to 22

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Bhubaneshwar, Apr 22 : At least 22 people have died due to the intense heat wave in Orissa.

The State Government has decided to pay an ex-gratia of Rs 10,000 each from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to the next of the kin of those who have died.

Schools have been closed from Tuesday because of the heat wave.

The maximum temperature rose above 42 degree Celsius mark in most parts of the state. "The north westerly wind pattern is causing these conditions. The huge humidity in coastal Orissa and dry air in western Orissa is making the situation worse," claimed S.C. Sahu, Director, Metrological Department of Bhubaneshwar.

The current heat wave is likely to prevail for a few more days, as wind patterns from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are such that there is little chance of rain, Sahu added.

People in many areas are also facing a shortage of drinking water. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked officials to repair defunct tube wells in both rural and urban areas to avoid a drinking water crisis.

ANI

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