Andhra Pradesh is facing the brunt of soaring temperatures. Since the last week, three deaths have been officially recorded in the state as a result of heat stroke, as per Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA). On May 5, Polavaram in West Godavari, recorded 46.9 degree Celsius, the highest so far.
The three persons who succumbed were from Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Chittoor. The government is yet to ascertain if the deaths which took place on Sunday and Monday were caused due to heat stroke.
So far, 433 persons have been diagnosed with heat stroke, according to Kishan Sanku, Sector Expert (SEOC In-charge) APSDMA. Kadapa has borne the brunt with 179 people suffering from heat stroke.
A 'severe heat wave' warning has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for the districts of Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam on Tuesday, and 'heat wave' warning for the same districts along with the coastal districts, for the next two days.
On Tuesday, Nellore and Ongole recorded maximum temperatures of 45 degrees.
'Severe heat wave' warning is issued when the maximum temperature is likely to reach 47 degrees and beyond, while a 'heat wave' warning is issued when the temperature is likely to touch 45 degrees.
Meanwhile, the authorities are making all efforts to minimise the death toll. The government is already executing the action plan which includes coordinated efforts between government departments like I&PR, Panchayat Raj, Labour and Employment, Rural Development, Animal Husbandry, Transport, IT department, agencies, medical departments and other communities. Presently, the government has activated Phase-II of action plan (during heat wave season from March-July), where the I&PR department will disseminate information of heat wave to all the stakeholders for advanced action.
“The action plan is to send prompt updates about weather to the mandal-level Village Revenue Officer (VRO), conduct awareness programmes with Do's and Don’ts, and distribute Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) salt packets to hospitals and medical clinics,” said Kishan Sanku, Sector Expert (SEOC In-charge) APSDMA.
He added, “We have distributed 7,72,975 ORS packets so far. A total of 24,707 drinking camps have been set up across the state in association with NGOs and others. For the NREGA workers, hawkers and people in general, 47,250 temporary shelters have been set up.”
As the heat wave is likely to continue in the state for the next four days, we will continue with the same plan, he said.
“We are issuing instructions for the people to avoid venturing out between 10am - 4pm. If they want to venture out, they are advised to carry umbrellas, have more fluids, or wear a cap etc.,” Kishan said.