BHUBANESWAR: The intense heat wave continued to grip Odisha without showing any signs of a let-up as mercury soared in the western and interior parts while gruelling conditions prevailed in coastal districts of the State.
As many as 18 stations recorded 40-degree plus temperature as sunstroke deaths rose to 30 on Wednesday. Titlagarh emerged as the hottest place in the State with maximum day temperature registering 45 degree Celsius.
Most of the western districts saw a gradual rise in mercury. The weather office said the temperatures were one to two degree above normal in the region. The coastal pockets, which have been reeling under a massive rise in day temperature, reported a marginal drop in the mercury. Bhubaneswar, which had reported a record 45.8 degree C on Monday, registered 42.2 degree C on the day. The temperature was still a good five degree above normal. With humidity levels rising considerably, the sweltering conditions were intolerable.
The predictions, meanwhile, are towards harsher days. Director of IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said the marginal drop in temperature in coastal pockets is attributed to onset of southerly wind. With the western wind flow set to resume from April 15, mercury will soar again.
Private forecaster Skymet said the plains of north-west India and adjoining Central India will see a rise in the maximum temperature in the next two days. There is a likelihood of an increase in mercury by one to three degree in the region. This is attributed to the Western Disturbance moving away from the Himalayas. With no system-based rain in the offing, the day temperature will rise again which in turn will increase the mercury in Odisha too.
Meanwhile, with five more deaths reported on the day, the alleged sunstroke death toll has reached 30. Khurda, with five casualties, is right on the top. Cuttack has reported four deaths.