SAMBALPUR: Intense heatwave has crippled normal life in Sambalpur city, which recorded 46.4 degree Celsius on Tuesday. Making things worse are the unscheduled power cuts.
Locals said while it is raining fire in the morning, the hot breeze can be experienced till late in the evening. The temperature has been on the rise since last Wednesday. On Monday, the city had also recorded 46.4 degree Celsius and it was 46.6 on Sunday, 45 on Saturday and 45.3 degree Celsius on Friday. On Thursday last week, mercury shot up to 44.5, while it was 44 on Wednesday. While people are preferring to remain indoors, the roads wear a deserted look after 10 am. Slum dwellers are the worst hit.
Fruit vendors, however, are cashing in on the soaring mercury level. With people preferring summer fruits like watermelon, water apples and mangoes, the vendors are doing brisk business.
On the other hand, the local administration has put in all measures to meet any eventuality. Special sunstroke wards have been set up in the District Headquarters Hospital, two sub-divisional hospitals in Rairakhol and Kuchinda and all the community health centres (CHCs) in Sambalpur district. The Sambalpur Municipal Corporation has opened 70 temporary water kiosks in all parts of the city. The defunct water kiosks have been repaired.
So far, there have been no sunstroke related deaths in the city. Sources said eight persons affected by sunstroke in different parts of Sambalpur district were admitted to District Headquarters Hospital and they have been released after treatment.
District Emergency Officer, Sanjib Pujari said although there are reports of two deaths due to sunstroke, these are yet to be confirmed.