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Lok Sabha Polls: IMD Warns Of Heatwave Across East and South India Ahead of Phase Two Voting

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New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a warning on Tuesday indicating that the intense heat wave currently affecting large parts of East and South India is expected to persist for another five days. This warning comes just days before the second phase of polling in 89 constituencies across 13 states, including six eastern and southern states, in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Bihar are set to go to polls in this phase. Earlier this month, IMD had predicted a harsh and arid summer for most regions of the country from April to June, with a high likelihood of heatwave episodes lasting between 10 to 20 days.

In preparation for the seven-phase general elections that began on 19 April, IMD, along with the National Disaster Management Authority and various ministries, has developed an action plan to ensure seamless polling despite the challenging weather conditions.

IMD has issued an orange alert for Odisha, Bihar, and West Bengal, indicating moderate health concerns for vulnerable populations such as infants, the elderly, and individuals with chronic diseases. These groups have been advised to avoid heat exposure and maintain hydration to mitigate health risks.

“Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in some pockets of Gangetic West Bengal and isolated pockets over Odisha for the next five days,” IMD stated.

It further mentioned that isolated pockets in interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, and Sikkim may experience heatwave conditions until Saturday, while Tamil Nadu is expected to face similar conditions until Wednesday. Jharkhand, Bihar, Telangana, and East Uttar Pradesh are likely to witness heatwave conditions between Wednesday and Saturday, and West Uttar Pradesh, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Yanam are expected to experience heatwave conditions from Thursday to Saturday.

Earlier on Monday, temperatures soared as high as 43°C across many parts of northern Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, northern Odisha, West Bengal, and Rayalaseema. The IMD forecasted hot and humid weather to prevail over various regions, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Coastal Karnataka, Konkan & Goa, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Bihar, among others, until Saturday.

IMD also highlighted the likelihood of warm night conditions with day maximum temperatures exceeding 40°C in Odisha from Thursday to Saturday. Additionally, eastern Madhya Pradesh is expected to experience substantially high night temperatures on April 22 and April 23.

Furthermore, the IMD warned of potential dust storms or thunderstorms followed by rain and gusty winds with speeds of 40-70kmph in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), including several areas in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Light rain or drizzle may be seen over most parts of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Hailstorms or precipitation are anticipated in certain areas, posing risks to plantation, horticulture, standing crops, and vulnerable structures.

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