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Home  /   Type of Disaster /   Heat Wave
 

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Heat Wave
 

Definition:

»   Heat wave can be defined as a condition of atmospheric temperature that leads to physiological stress, which sometimes can claim human life.
     
»   Quantitatively heat wave can be defined as follows:
    * The normal temperature is < 40° C. Any increase from the above normal temperature is called heat wave.
+ (5 or 6) ° C – Moderate heat wave
 7° C. or more – Severe heat wave 
     
    * The normal temperature is > 40° C. Any increase from the above normal temperature is called heat wave.
+ (5 or 6) ° C – Moderate heat wave
 7° C. or more – Severe heat wave 
     
    * If the maximum temperature of any place continues to be 45° C
consecutively for two days, it is called a heat wave condition.

There will be no harm to the human body if the environmental temperature remains at 37° C.  Whenever the environmental temperature increases above 37° C., the human body starts gaining heat from the atmosphere. In the case of humidity being high along with high temperature, a person can suffer from heat stress disorders even with the temperature at  37° or 38° C.

During the summer months (April to June), the natural calamity control rooms at the State and also at the district levels need to be vigilant and watchful about heat wave warning from analysing the daily reports of IMD. Immediately upon receipt of such a warning, the state and district control rooms should make necessary arrangement for flashing the warning through all forms of media. Simultaneously, departments like Health, PHED & other related departments need to remain alert and put necessary emergency measures in place.

Drinking water supply arrangements, rescheduling of timing in educational institutions, working hours, especially of those doing physical labour, veterinary measures, bus timings, etc. are to be modified, once heat wave warnings are issued. (A sample Poster)

 
In the year 1998 the State of Orissa faced an unprecedented heat wave situation, as a result of which 2042 persons lost their lives. Though extensive awareness campaigns have largely reduced the number of casualties during post 1998 period, still a good number of casualties are being reported each year which have put the State Government in very difficult situation. It has become a menace during hard summer causing insurmountable human suffering. The poor people, farmers and workers mostly suffer from sunstroke and lose their lives. In the Orissa Relief Code, the State Government has made provision for payment of Rs.10,000/- towards ex-gratia relief to the bereaved family of each sunstroke victims. Since there is no provision in the items and norms of expenditure for incurring expenditure from the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) or NCCF to provide relief to the victims of ‘Heat Wave’, the State Government is incurring such expenditure out of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) though it is a natural calamity like Cyclone, Flood, Earthquake etc.
 
Since the State Government is not in a position to meet the huge requirement of funds needed for preparedness in taking adequate ameliorative measures and for payment of ex-gratia to the bereaved families of Heat Wave victims out of its own fund each year, the issue has been repeatedly raised before the Government of India and Finance Commissions for consideration. During the visit of Hon’ble members of 13th Finance Commission, Government of India in February, 2009 the State Government put forth the demand to include the “Heat Wave” in the list of natural calamity under CRF.
 
The year wise death toll due to heat wave since 1998 as mentioned below, picturizes the calamity:
Year
Human Casualty
1998
2042
1999
91
2000
29
2001
25
2002
41
2003
68
2004
45
2005
236
2006
21
2007
47
2008
68
2009 (as on 26.10.2009)
81

 
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