BHUBANESWAR: Central and Western Odisha continued to be in firm grip of the heat wave as the death toll went up to 67 on Tuesday. With the scorching conditions showing no sign of a let-up, reports of casualties came in from the coastal districts.
Ganjam reported 12 more deaths, while six persons died in Jajpur. In a single day, the death toll jumped by 24 in the State.
As on Tuesday, Ganjam has topped the list with 15 deaths while Jajpur followed with 12. However, the State Government confirmed four deaths after completion of inquiry in 11 cases.
As the blistering conditions persisted, Titlagarh recorded 47.6 degree Celsius, season’s highest for the State. At least nine stations recorded over 45 degree Celsius on the day. Although mercury made a climb-down in the coastal pockets of the State, there was little relief for the western belt where Sambalpur, Balangir, Bhawanipatna, Hirakud and Jharsuguda turned into cauldron of sorts.
The weather office said, Western Odisha is unlikely to get any relief till the first week of June though the coastal districts may report a drop in the day temperature, but only from May 31.
With cloudy conditions prevailing, the Capital City saw six degree drop in the maximum day temperature which read 39.8 degree Celsius on Tuesday but high level of humidity continued to make life miserable.
“We are expecting cloudy conditions which could lead to a drop in the day temperature. If the south-westerly wind gets stronger after monsoon onset in Kerala, there is likelihood of norwester occurring in interior districts,” Director of India Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar SC Sahu said.
The south-west monsoon, which is likely to arrive in Kerala by the month-end, could play a vital role in alleviating the conditions. If it meets the predicted date, the conditions could improve in Odisha.
The weather experts are counting on formation of a system during the first week of June so that it could pull the monsoon current and trigger pre-monsoon showers.