THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As summer peaks in the state, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded its first-ever temperature rise alert this year, forecasting an increase of 2 to 3 degree Celsius in maximum temperature in various districts on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, the maximum temperature in Kannur, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kozhikode and Punalur increased by 2.6 degree Celsius, 2.5 degree, 2.2 degree, 2.1 degree and 2.2 degree Celsius, respectively. On Saturday, the UV index reported in the state, as per a weather site, is 12 when anything above 10 in the index is considered high-risk.
According to the forecast for Sunday, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur are likely to witness an increase in maximum temperature. Experts say the UV index and heat index are likely to go up in the coming days, with the state likely to report heat-related incidents including sunburn.
On Saturday, Punalur recorded the highest temperature of 38.7 degree Celsius, followed by Thrissur (38.4), Palakkad (37.6), Kannur (36.9), Kottayam (36.6), Kozhikode (35.4) and Thiruvananthapuram (35.4).
Abhilash S, associate professor, department of atmospheric sciences, Cusat, said the summer will peak in the coming days. “The heat index and UV index are likely to spike as Kerala has high humidity” he said.
Heat-related incidents may occur in state, says expert
“The temperature we feel may be higher than the ambient temperature because of high humidity, and hence, heat-related incidents may occur in the state. The summer is expected to be at its peak between March 20 and April 10,” said Abhilash.
It has been nearly two years since the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) planned to introduce devices to monitor harmful UV rays throughout the day to give live warning to the public. Unfortunately, the project is yet to be implemented.
The plan was to implement the project, which costs around Rs 10 lakh, by March 2020. KSDMA came up with the project because of the increase in the heat index and heat-related incidents. The proposal was to install a device each in every district to get a UV index alert every hour during the day. A KSDMA official told TNIE that the project did not take off because of technical glitches and the pandemic.
“We procured the devices from a Delhi-based company, and there are not many players in the field. They delivered the equipment but we had to return them owing to technical glitches. We need to route the data from these devices via the State Disaster Centre.
The pandemic situation delayed the progress of the project. Now we are in the process of fixing the communication glitches so that the equipment can be deployed this year,” said the official. In 2019, a total of 1,600 heatrelated incidents occurred in the state of which 800 were sunburn and sunstroke cases, following which the state declared heat wave as a state-specific disaster.