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Too hot to handle: A look back at the killer heatwaves that hit the world

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, May 01: It's April and the scorching heat being experienced across India resembles one of the peak summer in June. Temperatures are rising rapidly in the country, and rising much earlier than usual.

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While heatwaves have become an annual affair in India, especially in May and June, summer began early this year with high temperatures from March itself. The IMD has said that an unusually intense spring heat wave has brought blistering heat to the country -- especially in north and central India.

Hottest April in 122 years

The weather department has said that Northwest and central India recorded the highest average maximum temperatures in April since 1900 as there would be no respite for the region in May.

With scanty rains owing to feeble western disturbances, northwest and central India experienced the hottest April in 122 years with average maximum temperature touching 35.9 degrees Celsius and 37.78 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The northwest region had previously recorded an average maximum temperature of 35.4 degrees Celsius in April 2010, while the previous record for the central region was 37.75 degrees Celsius in 1973.

On Saturday, Banda in Uttar Pradesh had recorded a high of 47.4 degrees Celsius, the highest in the country.

Deadly heatwaves

The WMO referred to data from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which said that between 1992 and 2020, there were 25,692 deaths due to heatwaves. 6,973 deaths were reported between 2011 and 2015 and 1,743 deaths between 2016 and 2021.

2021 heatwave burns Greece

In 2021, Greece suffered its worst heat wave in more than 30 years, as temperatures hit as high 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in some regions.

The heatwave was compounded by the multiple forest fires that had broken out in the southern European nation.

India becomes too hot to handle in 2015

In May 2015, India was struck by a severe heat wave. As of 3 June 2015, it caused the deaths of at least 2,500 people in multiple regions.

The heat wave occurred during the Indian dry season, which typically lasts from March to July with peak temperatures in April and May.

Although it typically remains hot until late October, Indian monsoons often provide some respite from the heat.

Russia's 2010 heat

The had an uneventful summer in 2010. Studies later indicated that the 2010 heatwave was likely due to natural variability rather than human-caused climate change.

Europe enveloped in 2006 heatwave

In 2006, European countries like the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, Germany, experienced hot weather. Reportedly, over 3,400 people lost their lives due to the severe heat conditions.

2003's summer of hell for Europe

The scorting heat of 2003 saw record high temperatures that resulted in at least 70,000 deaths in European states. The Alpine glaciers shrank by 10 per cent over the summer.

India's worst heatwave of 2002

More than 1,030 people were killed in the 2002 heatwave in South India. In some areas, temperatures were so extreme that many tin-roofed homes turned into ovens, water catchments dried up and animals collapsed from the heat.

Heatwave in 2002 led not only to a very high mortality rate, but also to the high morbidity of many heat-related diseases and caused a fatal blow to the local agriculture and economy.

1998 heatwave in India

The 1998 heatwave was the worst in 50 years and had left 2,518 dead. Odisha, Bihar, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujrat states suffered the worst summer.

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