2019 Indian heat waveSevere heatwave in India 2019 Indian heat waveSevere heatwave in India - ImagesGram

2019 Indian heat waveSevere heatwave in India

Since late May 2019, India has been facing a severe heat wave. The highest temperatures occured in Churu, Rajasthan, reaching up to 50.8 °C (123.4 °F),a near record high.
As a result of the hot weather, 184 people have died in the state of Bihar alone, with dozens more deaths reported in other parts of the country. The heat wave has also exacerbated the effect of water shortages, causing fights that have led to people being killed, stabbed, and beaten in early June.

As of 12 June 2019, the heat wave has lasted 32 days, making it the second-longest ever recorded. Additionally, peak power usage in Delhi reached 6,686 MW, breaking all previous records.
Background
Since 2004, India has experienced 11 of its 15 warmest recorded years. The frequency and duration of heat waves in India has increased and is predicted to continue increasing until 2064. The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology identified several factors as the possible cause of this: "El Niño Modoki", which is an irregular El Niño where the central Pacific Ocean is warmer than the eastern part; and the loss of moisture in soil due to a lack of trees which results in less evapotranspiration and more heat transfer into the atmosphere.

In response to the growing number of deaths from heat waves, the Indian government began implementing life-saving measures in 2013. In Ahmedabad, for example, "school days were reduced, government work programmes ceased, and free water was distributed in busy areas." Public gardens were opened during the daytime so that people could seek shade. Professor of public health Parthasarathi Ganguly estimated that 800 fewer people have died in 2014 as a result of these policies.