BHUBANESWAR: As many as 39 people have reportedly died due to heat wave in Odisha which continued to reel under gruelling hot conditions with little relief in sight.
Four out of 39 alleged sunstroke death cases have been investigated into while one has been attributed to heat stroke. Inquiry in the remaining 35 cases is pending, said the Special Relief Commissioner’s office.
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Six deaths have been reported from Cuttack district while five deaths each were reported from Sambalpur and Ganjam districts.
Bizarre as it may sound, lightning too has claimed a number of deaths during this period. The SRC office said 65 persons died in lightning strikes between April 1 and June 12.
Nine deaths were reported from Nabarangpur whereas six casualties each have been registered in Mayurbhanj and Ganjam districts.
Meanwhile, the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre issued heat wave warning for eight districts in the State for next two days even as 15 places including the Twin City recorded over 40 degree Celsius on Wednesday.
The state capital wore a deserted look as people remained indoors due to the intense heat and high humidity.
Shopping establishments remained closed during the afternoon hours. Met officials said heat wave condition is expected to prevail at Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Deogarh, Bargarh, Sonepur, Balangir and Nuapada districts on Thursday and Friday.
The met office advised elderly people with chronic diseases and infants to avoid exposure to the scorching heat.
“Temperature was above normal in interior and coastal Odisha. Identical weather condition is expected to prevail till Friday and temperature may dip thereafter under the influence of thunderstorm activity,” said Director, Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre HR Biswas.
On the day, Sambalpur was the hottest at 45.6 degree Celsius followed by Talcher 45.3, Hirakud and Sonepur 45.2, Jharsuguda and Titlagarh 45, Sundargarh 44.5, Angul 43.9, Malkangiri 42.6, Balangir 42.5, Bhubaneswar 42.4, Bhawanipatna 41.8, Keonjhar 40.9, Chandbali 40.8 and Cuttack 40.5 degree Celsius.
Both Bhubaneswar and Cuttack also recorded high humidity levels of 60 per cent and 57 per cent respectively, making lives unbearable for citizens.
Met officials also said contrasting weather conditions might prevail at few places in north and southern region of the State in next 24 hours since light to moderate rainfall and thunderstorm activity might occur on Thursday.
Thunderstorm with gusty winds is expected at isolated places in Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Angul, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Khurda, Nuapada, Balangir and Boudh districts during the same period.
SOG trainees fall ill during training
Several trainees at Special Operations Group (SOG) training centre in Chandaka were taken ill due to exertion caused by the scorching heat.
Biswajit Behera, a sub-inspector posted at Ghatagaon police station, said around 25 trainees including a lady DSP fell ill during the morning drill which was conducted in the scorching heat.
“The personnel were taken to the hospital on the premises of the centre but there was no lady attendant available to look after the DSP,” he claimed.
On the day, photos of the trainees at the hospital went viral on social media and the lady DSP was seen lying on the ground.
Behera further alleged that Chandaka SOG Commandant Anirudh Kumar Singh misbehaved with him when he refused to perform some exercises due to pain in his lower back.
However, Singh refuted the allegations and charged Behera of disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, Commissionerate Police said they have not received any complaint in this regard.
“After receiving a complaint, an investigation will be initiated,” said Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahu.