Normal life hit as heatwave returns to Sambalpur, Sundargarh districts of Odisha

Sambalpur district has, so far, reported 132 heat stroke cases since April, with six new illnesses recorded on Tuesday alone.
Normal life hit as  heatwave returns to Sambalpur, Sundargarh districts of Odisha

SAMBALPUR/ROURKELA: Sizzling hot conditions have taken a toll on normal life in Sambalpur district, with temperature climbing to 45.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

Streets, abuzz with election campaign activities till last week, wear a deserted look as residents stay indoors to escape the extreme hot conditions.

Two days ago, the IMD issued a warning on rise in maximum temperature when Nuapada, Jharsuguda, and Sambalpur recorded 40 degree Celsius and above. Within two days, the mercury soared.

In fact, the minimum temperature was uncomfortably high too. Sambalpur town recorded 31.7 degree C at 8.30 am on the day which was 5.2 degree C above normal. Nights have been warmer than usual too.

The district has, so far, reported 132 heat stroke cases since April, with six new illnesses recorded on Tuesday alone. Chief district medical officer (CDMO) Dr Sujata Rani Mishra said special sun-stroke wards have been set up in the hospitals. These units are equipped with air-conditioners or coolers. ORS and IV saline supplies are sufficient, and each centre has a designated nodal officer. So far, no sunstroke death has been reported in the district.

Meanwhile, the oppressive heat has significantly reduced outdoor activities. The movements of office workers have been an exception, while small vendors and daily wagers reportedly have scaled down their day work. Construction contractors are also adjusting the schedules of daily wagers.

However despite the challenges, seasonal vendors like Surinder Saha, who sells sugarcane juice near the district court, are thriving in the extreme heat. “I am making brisk business due to the proximity to government offices. I open my stall from 8 am and work for 12 hours with a lunch break. Seasonal fruit sellers are also putting up their stalls nearby and encounter regular customers,” he said.

Rourkela feels the heat too

Intense heat wave condition prevailed across Rourkela and rest of Sundargarh district on Wednesday with temperature reaching 44.6 degree Celsius at Rourkela with a feel of 46 degree to make life miserable for both urban and rural pockets.

The environmental engineering wing of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) of SAIL on Wednesday recorded the day’s maximum temperature at 44.6 degree C.

At Sundargarh district headquarter town, about 100 km from Rourkela, the automatic weather station of the IMD reported maximum temperature at 43.4 degree C while the minimum was at 27.5 degree C. In rest of other rural and urban pockets of the district, the heat wave condition was similar and scorching.

Sources said with progress of the day, people at Rourkela largely restricted their outdoor movements and those with pressing needs went out with extra precaution. There was no comfort either inside houses due to high humidity with air-coolers failing to give relief and the only respite came from air-conditioners.

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