Heatwave Kills 142 in Bihar, Section 144 Imposed in Gaya

The situation of Bihar is grim as on one hand the state grapples with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome while on the other it battles severe heatwave.

According to the state health department records, at least 142 persons died between 15 to 20 June and roughly 1,195 people were left hospitalised due to the heatwave, TheWire.in reported.

Earlier, the District Magistrate on 17 June, imposed Section 144 (prohibiting unlawful assembly) in Gaya to prevent people from coming outdoors. The government had also ordered closure of academic activities in all schools and colleges till 22 June.

"“In view of the continuing heatwave and loo gripping most parts of the state for the past couple of days, the government has decided to shut all the colleges, private and government schools, institutes and coaching centres till 22 June.” " - Deepak Kumar, Bihar Chief Secretary

As per the order, the notice prohibited both government and non-government construction work, cultural programmes and gathering in open spaces between 11 am to 4 pm.

Also Read: Health Advisory Issued as Heatwave Grips the Country

Deaths Mainly Reported in Aurangabad, Gaya Districts

On Monday, officials had told news agency IANS that deaths were mainly reported from Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui districts, where temperatures hovered around 45 degrees Celsius on 15 and 16 June.

Between 16 to 17 June, 29 people were killed due to severe heatwave, IANS reported.

Meanwhile, according to an official statement, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the deaths and announced a payment of Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia to the victims' families.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan termed the incident as unfortunate and also advised people to avoid moving out of the house till the temperatures drop, India Today reported.

The Disaster Management Department said that 33 people lost their lives in Aurangabad, 31 in Gaya and 12 in Nawada due to the heatwave.

Delayed Monsoons, No Winds from Bay of Bengal Cause Heatwave

Examining the severe heatwave pattern in Bihar, Pradhan Parthasarthy, the head of Indian Meteorology Society (Patna) told TheWire.in that rain in Bihar depends on the winds coming from the Bay of Bengal.

Parthasarthy said that so far, there is no "ongoing meteorological activity in the Bay of Bengal."

He also stated that another reason for the heatwave is due to the delay in monsoon which usually arrives by 10-12 June.

Last year, monsoon hit Bihar by 25 June and this year it is expected to reach by 22 June.

(With inputs IANS, India Today and TheWire.in)

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