The heatwave continued to sweep the state for the third consecutive day on Friday with mercury touching 46 degree Celsius in Titlagarh and Sambalpur towns. The weatherman warned that there would be no respite from the scorching heat for at least two more days.
According to unconfirmed reports, at least 41 people have died of sunstroke during summer this year. The government has confirmed only two deaths, one each in Angul and Balangir districts. The heat is so terrible that roads and markets wear a deserted look during the day.
Titlagarh, considered one of the hottest pockets in the state, on Friday recorded the day’s highest of 46.5 degree Celsius in the state. This temperature in May is also the highest recorded in the town in the past three years. This town in May 13, 2010 recorded 45.5 degree Celsius, official sources said. Similarly, Sambalpur recorded 46 degree Celsius, which was highest in May in the past two years. Sambalpur in May 2011 recorded the highest of 44.7 degree Celsius.
Mercury level in at least seven other towns crossed 44 degree Celsius. While Hirakud and Sonepur recorded 45.8 degree Celsius and 45.4 degree, Angul (44.7), Bhawanipatna (44.5), Balangir and Jharsuguda (44.4) and Sundargarh (44) were among the other hottest pockets on Friday. Several other parts in interior and western parts sizzled with temperature invariably above 40 degree. Bhubaneswar touched 41.4 degree.
Weathermen said the heat wave would continue for two more days. “Heatwaves are likely to continue in western and interior pockets for the next two days,” said local meteorology director Sarat Chandra Sahu. Thundersquall accompanied by hail and gusty surface wind speed above 60 km per hour may occur at one or two places over coastal Odisha but there would be no respite from the heat in these parts as well, he said.
The state government issued a fresh alert to the district administration asking them to review the heat wave condition on a daily basis and take adequate steps to ensure drinking water, oral rehydration salts in hospitals and treatment facilities to those affected by the heat.