The scorching heat wave that had been sweeping across Orissa for the past few days has so far claimed three people. It is the result of the soaring temperature which has crossed 40 degree Celsius in many parts of the state, officials said.
The western town of Sundergarh recorded Monday 42 degrees Celsius, the western towns of Bhabanipatna, Bolangir and the coastal town of Chandbali recorded 40.5, 40.6 and 41.0 degrees on the same day, Goutam Dutt of Bhubaneswar Meteorological Office told IANS.
State capital Bhubaneswar recorded a maximum temperature of 38.5 degrees Celsius Tuesday, he said. Heat wave conditions are likely to continue over the next 24 hours.
The weather office issued a heat wave warning Tuesday noon asking people to stay indoors.
"The temperature is one or two degrees higher in some places this year compared to 2006. For example, Bhubaneswar had witnessed 38 degrees Celsius around this time last year whereas this year it had already touched nearly 39 degrees," said Dutt.
"The state government had received complaints of about 26 deaths from across the state during this summer due to sunstroke. Of them only three have been confirmed by the concerned district health officials," an officer of the state revenue control room said.
The Orissa government has asked the Meteorological Department to forecast the likely day temperatures at least 48 hours in advance so that alerts could be issued.
A heat wave in the state in May 1998 killed over 2,000 people. Titilagarh recorded the state's highest temperature of 50.1 degrees Celsius in June 2003.
Both private and government educational institutions have been conducting classes from 6 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. since the past few days after the state government issued instructions, he said.