India: Over 6,100 deaths caused by heat wave in nine years till 2018, Andhra Pradesh faced max. casualties
By Vishwa Mohan
Over 6,100 people have died in India due to heat waves in the last nine years (2010-18), with the year 2015 alone recording nearly one-third of such deaths. Among states, Andhra Pradesh had recorded the maximum casualties during the 2013-15 period.
Sharing the nationwide cumulative figures in Lok Sabha, the Minister of Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan, on Wednesday said a latest study had shown that heat waves have increased in many parts of the country, with these conditions being experienced generally during the periods between March and July.
The minister, however, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD), in collaboration with state health departments, has started a heat action plan in many parts of the country as "an adaptive measure" to forewarn about heat waves and advise on preventive actions to be taken - a move which resulted in consistent decline in the number of casualties since 2015 despite the severity of heat wave occurrences.
Noting that the heat action plan is a comprehensive early warning system and preparedness plan for extreme heat events, Vardhan said, "The plan presents immediate and longer-term actions to increase preparedness, information-sharing and response coordination to reduce the health impacts of extreme heat on vulnerable populations."