At least 52 people died in different parts of Bihar due to blistering heat wave conditions in the state in the last 24 hours.
Most of the deaths were reported from Aurangabad district where 27 people succumbed to heat stroke. In Gaya and Nawada, 25 people died under similar circumstances in the last 24 hours.
Confirming this, Dr V K Prasad, superintendent of Anugrah Narain Medical College and Hospital (ANMCH) in Gaya, said that 15 people suffering from heat stroke died at the hospital while 10 others were brought dead.
Aurangabad Civil Surgeon Dr SP Singh confirmed the death of 27 people in the district “while dozens were undergoing treatment in different hospitals”.
Prolonged dry spell
Bihar has been witnessing a prolonged dry spell in June. On Sunday, the maximum temperature touched 45.8 degrees Celsius, which was marginally less than the highest recorded 46.6 degrees Celsius in 1966. “There will be no respite from excessive heat till June 20,” said a senior official of the meteorological department here.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who visited Bihar on Sunday to take stock of the situation of those children afflicted with suspected AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) in Muzaffarpur, said, “I am saddened by such unfortunate incidents in Aurangabad and Gaya. My suggestion to everyone is: Please avoid moving out of your house (till the temperature declines), unless and until it’s very urgent.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who expressed grief over the deaths, announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next kin of those who died due to heat stroke in three different districts of Bihar. He also asked the officials of the state disaster department and health department to coordinate and take necessary steps and measures in dealing with intense heat wave conditions.