NEW DELHI: Recurring heat waves in the city is taking a toll on people as well as the environment. The two city weather stations on Sunday recorded a high of 49 degrees C first-ever such reading in Delhi, said experts.
The heat waves are causing higher cases of dehydration, lose motions, high fever and heat rashes, mostly among school-going children, elderly and the labour class, who are the most exposed to heat.
Dr Jugal Kishore, head of community medicine at Safdarjung Hospital, said that a lot of patients are coming in with high fever, which is one of the major impacts of heat exposure.
“Younger children are more at risk as their ability to regulate body heat is not fully developed. Labourers are also exposed to heat, which causes muscle destruction and can even affect other bodily functions. In Delhi, people are easily getting affected because there is lack of awareness on how to deal with heat wave conditions,” he said.
He added that heat strokes are also common under such high temperatures, which can cause seizures or brain damage and even lead to death. Professor C R Babu, an ecologist, said that such high temperatures are detrimental to the environment as well since it allows much less evaporation of water. High urbanisation, inadequate green cover and over-concretisation are the main reasons.
“There is hardly any unpaved area left in Delhi. All of this doesn’t allow solar radiation to be absorbed and is instead refracted back in the lower atmosphere, which increases the heat load in the environment and thus has a toll on human beings and other organisms as well,” said Babu.
Heat wave syndrome
The heat waves are causing higher cases of dehydration, lose motions, high fever and heat rashes, mostly among school-going children, elderly and the labour class