Author: Kiran Pandey

Data gaps in heatwave deaths widen as India battles record-smashing temperatures

Source(s): Down To Earth

Over the past few months, a growing number of heat-related fatalities have been reported as unrelenting heatwaves kept large swathes of India simmering.

Various government agencies such as National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Union health ministry keep records on the casualties from sweltering heatwaves. However, a closer look at the official data from 2015-2023, presented by the health ministry, unravels discrepancies between the information provided by various agencies.


Considering these contexts, human casualty is an important indicator of loss and damage due to heatwaves — a significant climate-related extreme weather event. “Deaths due to extreme events” is an important indicator under the sustainable development goal on climate action (SDG 13) as well. It should also be monitored, quantified and reported by India under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030).

At a time when heatwave has been surpassing records in India, data veracity, along with data gaps on “mortality due to heatwave”, needs to be addressed.

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Hazards Heatwave
Country and region India
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