VISAKHAPATNAM : Not that city folks do not know it already. Ever since Hudhud flattened the trees of Vizag, denizens have resigned themselves to the inevitable: this summer is going to be worse than ever. Add to that increasing pollution levels in the city, while it is not surprising that the temperatures are expected to cross 40 degrees Celsius, the fact that such climes will be witnessed as latest as by the end of March is a heavy blow indeed.
The Port City is likely in for a super hot summer with mercury levels peaking even before the season fully sets in. Though it is the last week of March right now, Vizagites are experiencing the feel of mid-summer, usually observed during May or June. The building heat, varying between 33 to 35 degrees Celsius, has begun to render people indoors, especially in the afternoons. The Waltair region has been recording 32 degrees Celsius, and the Airport area 35 degrees Celsius on an average as against the usual 30 or 31 degrees Celsius. The mercury levels are expected to rise further by two to three degrees Celsius in the Airport area.
A duty officer from the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC), Visakhapatnam, said that the temperatures in Vizag may increase by about two degrees Celsius overall next month. Mercury levels would touch 40 degree Celsius in Waltair area and 43 at airport.
“Moreover, due to increasing industrial and automobile pollution in and around the city, particularly near the airport, the temperatures will soar in the coming days,” the duty officer added.
Meanwhile, the colossal loss of green cover is a body blow to Vizag. With trees having been ripped off branches, the loss of leaves is proving to be a major threat.
“Leaves have the capacity to absorb heat from the sun and arrest radiation released from the buildings. But that may not be possible now given our situation,” said DE Babu, head of the Department of Zoology, Andhra University.
As the heat continues to build up, people aged above 50 and children must drink lots of water and take liquids as a precautionary measure against respiratory and brain-related problems brought about by intense heat, he suggested.
Meanwhile, Met officials and environmentalists predict untimely rains in the coming month of April under the impact of cumulonimbus clouds, which are formed due to high temperatures.