'Like living in an inferno': Heatwave turns Delhi into 'tandoor', residents flock to hospitals

The IMD has issued a red alert for Wednesday emphasising the severity of the situation, with the heat index touching 50°C.
A child stands under water leaking from a broken pipeline to get relief from the scorching heat on a hot summer day in Delhi
A child stands under water leaking from a broken pipeline to get relief from the scorching heat on a hot summer day in Delhi(Photo | Express)

NEW DELHI: The Delhi NCR region has turned into a 'tandoor' as residents bear the brunt of an extended period of extreme heat with relentless high temperatures all day.

People complain that even ACs are ineffective and boiling water comes out of the taps durng the day. The IMD has issued a red alert for Wednesday emphasising the severity of the situation, with the heat index touching 50°C.

Saurabh Bansal, an IT professional living in Mayur Vihar, said he couldn't stand under the shower as it poured boiling water for the last few days. "It feels like living in an inferno. There is no break from the sweltering heat. From morning to night it feels like a tandoor. I have to fill a bucket of water and keep it for an hour at least so that the water's temperature gets normal to take bath," he added.

Santosh Pandey, a private filter water supplier based in East of Kailash, said the demand has gone up by 300 per cent these days, mainly because people are purchasing it for daily chores. "While I supply filtered potable water, I have been receiving requests all day to send additional cans to be used for washing utensils, bathing etc because water tanks placed on rooftops are boiling," he said.

Meanwhile, city hospitals are witnessing a rise in people getting admitted with heat-related illnesses. "Nowadays we are seeing a lot of patients with heat related illness and the majority of them is due to heat exhaustion. Patients are suffering from heat cramps, fever and febrile illness because of prolonged exposure to the immense heat. Other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting are also very common among the patients," said Dr (Prof) Atul Kakar, Chairperson, Internal Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

"Delhi and neighbouring regions are witnessing unaccustomed heat waves where the temperature is going beyond 47 degrees and even the night temperature is increasing. Since there is no respite, the people who are most vulnerable to heat related problems are children, the elderly and people who already have some illness such as heart problems or kidney issues," Kakar added.

Dr Pawan Kumar Goyal, Director - Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, said people suffering from heat stroke have a range of symptoms, with severe cases landing up in the emergency ward.

"Patients often experience a severe throbbing headache due to heat stroke. They also complain of lightheadedness, dizziness or giddiness, which could be because of dehydration or low blood pressure. Muscle cramps are often common symptoms of heat. Exposure, nausea and vomiting are also very common symptoms of heat. Exposure palpitation, confusion or disorientation are again very common symptoms. Patients also have a dry and red skin, which is also because of dehydration. In severe cases of heat stroke, one can have seizures or even unconsciousness," he said.

Social media platforms are flooded with posts highlighting the struggles faced by the residents of the city who narrate how their everyday life is getting affected.

Social media users have also taken time to appreciate labourers, rickshaw pullers, security guards, traffic policemen, and all the people working under the sun for their duties adding that it is hard to step out even during the early mornings. 

Long-time residents of the city say that they do not remember experiencing such intense heat.

Another resident posted on X, "Have spent almost all of my life in #Delhi and have never experienced such unbearable heat and weather. It is extremely hot even at 10 in the night and the water coming from the tap, is almost boiling hot."

Residents in hopes of beating the heat have resorted to taking baths early in the morning. However, it has not been of much help as they wake up to boiling water from their taps.

Students also took to X to say that even a walk back home has become an exhausting journey.

Heatwave is not the only nemesis of residents now. Power outages have also contributed to the misery.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns over the surging temperatures and the impact of climate change across the globe.

As Delhi continues to face the oppressive heat, the endurance and resilience of the people are being put to test like never before.

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