Sunstroke claims three lives in Kerala

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IMD warns of further rise in temperatures; ₹50 lakh allotted to Collectors for emergency steps

As Kerala braces for a sweltering week ahead, two more suspected cases of death due to sunstroke were reported from Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur districts on Sunday. The number of sunstroke deaths in the State over just the weekend has now risen to three.

In Ayira in Thiruvananthapuram, a 42-year-old man, identified as Karunakaran, was found dead in a field. In Eramamakuttur in Kannur, Narayanan, 67, was found dead near his home. Narayanan was reportedly missing since Saturday. In both cases, sunburn marks were reportedly found on the men, but autopsy reports are awaited to ascertain the cause of death.

Though a third death reportedly due to sunstroke was reported from Pathanamthitta on Sunday, the Health Department did not confirm it.

On Saturday, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) had reported one suspected case of sunstroke death in Angamaly, Ernakulam.

125 cases reported

Between March 1 and March 24, as many as 125 persons sought medical attention due to sunburn, the DHS reported. Of this, 67 cases were reported in the last one week alone. On Sunday, Nasar Khan, a local RSP leader in Punalur, and a young girl from Kasargod were among seven persons hospitalised due to sunburn.

Meantime, the IMD has warned that the maximum temperature in 11 districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kottayam, is likely to rise by two to three degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said that 4,467 water kiosks have been installed across the State to ensure adequate supply of potable water in water scarce areas. District Collectors have been sanctioned ₹50 lakh each for undertaking distress relief measures, including emergency supply of water through tankers and kiosks.

The KSDMA has also asked district authorities to identify quarries that can be used as alternative sources of drinking water in emergencies.

Heat wave

Earlier this month the IMD had forecast heat wave conditions in Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.

Officials said this was in line with expectations of a rise in temperature in India’s ‘core heatwave zone’ during March-May, it being the transition period to summer.

Heat waves are among the leading causes of deaths among natural disasters in India. The heat waves of 2015 and 2016 had killed 2,040 and 1,111 people across the country respectively, according to records from the National Disaster Management Agency.

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