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Indian Capital Registers Highest-Ever Temperature of 49.9 Celsius

Delhi, the capital city of India, experienced an unprecedented heatwave with temperatures soaring to a record-breaking 49.9 degrees Celsius (121.8 Fahrenheit).

This scorching heat has led authorities to issue warnings about water shortages in the sprawling mega-city, which is home to over 30 million people.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Tuesday saw “severe heat-wave conditions” as temperatures reached the unprecedented levels in two suburban stations of Delhi: Narela and Mungeshpur.

These temperatures were a staggering nine degrees higher than anticipated, as reported by the weather bureau.

Raising Concerns

Forecasters predict similar extreme temperatures for Wednesday, raising concerns among the city’s population.

A red alert warning has been issued, urging people to take precautions against the heatwave.

This is not the first time Delhi has experienced such scorching temperatures. In May 2022, parts of the city reached 49.2 degrees Celsius (120.5 Fahrenheit), according to Indian media outlets.

Experts have long warned about the increasing frequency, duration, and intensity of heatwaves due to climate change. Scientific research supports these concerns.

In addition to the heatwave, New Delhi authorities have cautioned about water shortages in the capital. Supplies to certain areas have already been cut, and Water Minister Atishi Marlena emphasized the need for collective responsibility in conserving water, as reported by the Times of India.

“We have implemented various measures to address the problem of water scarcity, such as reducing water supply from twice a day to once a day in many areas,” said Atishi, according to the Indian Express.

She further added that the saved water would be rationed and supplied to water-deficient areas where the current supply lasts for only 15 to 20 minutes a day.

Warning issues

The IMD has also issued warnings about the health impacts of the extreme heat, particularly for vulnerable groups such as infants, the elderly, and individuals with chronic diseases.

The soaring temperatures are attributed to scorching winds originating from Rajasthan state, where temperatures reached a sweltering 50.5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, making it the hottest region in the country.

Rajasthan’s desert region of Phalodi holds India’s all-time heat record, reaching a scorching 51 degrees Celsius in 2016.

Strong winds

Meanwhile, Cyclone Remal has hit West Bengal state and the northeastern state of Mizoram, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall.

The cyclone struck India and Bangladesh on Sunday, claiming the lives of at least 38 people.

Bangladesh’s Meteorological Department describes the cyclone as “one of the longest in the country’s history” and attributes the shift to climate change.

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