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Hundreds Die due to Heatwave in India

India 052015

PDC Global Hazards Atlas, centered on India, displaying PDC Active Hazards and Surface Temperature Anomaly (8-day) layers.

ReliefWeb reports that “At least 800 people have died in a major heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).” (ReliefWeb) Unfortunately, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), “we don’t predict any respite from the extreme heatwave for the next few days.” Heat warnings are in effect for several states and hospitals are on alert for “victims of heatstroke and authorities [have] advised people to stay indoors, with no end in sight to the searing conditions.”

The European Commission Humanitarian and Civil Protection agency (ECHO) has mapped the heatwave as forecast, and their product, based on a report from IMD, indicates that the worst heat conditions will persist in already heavily impacted areas stretching from the Bay of Bengal across the country to Haryana (and New Delhi) in the northwest.

RVA Country Profile: India

As government and volunteer organizations work to respond to the needs of the affected population in India, PDC’s Global Risk and Vulnerability Index assesses the susceptibility of the country to damaging effects of a hazard, based on pre-event conditions, via the Vulnerability Index. 

RVA India

This Week in Hazards

  • The Central United States has experienced and continues to see severe storms and devastating flooding. The National Weather Service forecast map, as of May 27, indicated “a risk of severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening across parts of the central and southern Plains, the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic into New England. Damaging winds and large hail will be the main threats, with an isolated risk of tornadoes across parts of the central and southern Plains.” (NWS) At the same time, many areas, especially in Oklahoma and Texas, were already dealing with devastating floods.
  • The deadly heatwave discussed above is not limited to India. According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s Central Asia Hazards Outlook for May 28 through June 3, “temperatures averaged 4 to 8 degrees Celsius above normal in eastern Kazakhstan, southern Turkmenistan, and western Afghanistan.” (CPC) The same report indicates that above-normal temperatures are expected over western Central Asia, including Turkmenistan, where maximum temperature could exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 F).
  • Severe storms that are affecting the Central and Eastern United States have also resulted in storm warnings and watches in southern Quebec (GoC) and southern Ontario, Canada, where severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for many cities, including Elgin, Huron, London, and Sarnia. (Ont.).
  • The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in Australia issued a flood warning for the Pilbara Coastal Rivers in the state of Western Australia. As of  May 27, BOM reported that flooding was already being experienced in the area and that the flooding was expected to continue through Thursday. People were warned to be alert and ready to relocate equipment and livestock.

Current Hazard Warnings

Flood: Western Australia, United States (Central), Columbia

Severe Weather:  Malaysia, Canada (Quebec and Ontario), United States (New England), China, Peru

Heatwave: India, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan

Wildfire: Canada (Alberta and British Columbia)

Drought: United States (Western), Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea

Biomedical: West Africa

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