Weather Update, April 18: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a heatwave alert for several states in East India as temperatures continue to rise.

According to the weather department, heatwave conditions are likely to persist in Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand for the next three days. The IMD has also predicted that the mercury levels may go up in Punjab and Haryana in the coming days and abate thereafter.

Several states, including Rajasthan and Bihar, are currently experiencing heatwave conditions, with Bihar’s Sheikhpura recording a maximum temperature of 43.4 degrees Celsius.

The Met Department has issued an orange alert for heatwave conditions in six districts of Bihar for the next 48 hours. Heatwave conditions are also expected to continue in several other states, including West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and East Uttar Pradesh, over the next few days.

In view of the “severe” heatwave conditions, all educational institutions in West Bengal have been ordered to remain shut until next week. “All educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and universities, will remain closed from Monday till Saturday next week, keeping in mind the severe heatwave conditions,” said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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Delhi is also experiencing heatwave conditions, with the maximum temperature reaching 40.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday. The Regional Meteorological Centre, New Delhi has predicted that the maximum temperature may settle at 41 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

The IMD has warned that increasing temperatures or severe heatwave conditions put vulnerable people, including infants, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases, at risk. On Sunday, at least eleven people died due to heatstroke, and over 120 people complained of heat-related health issues at the Maharashtra Bhushan award event in Navi Mumbai’s Kharghar.

The IMD has recommended various preventive measures, such as drinking sufficient water, ORS (oral rehydration solutions), or homemade drinks to stay hydrated during the heatwave. It is crucial to take necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and stay healthy during the hot and dry summer months.