The Telegraph
Saturday , April 26 , 2014
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Rain relief in Tripura

Agartala, April 25: The rain finally came today and brought down the temperature by four degrees but not before the mercury had shot up to 38.8 degrees Celsius in the mid-afternoon.

Yesterday was the hottest April day in the past two and a half decades in Tripura — 39.4 degrees Celsius — six degrees above normal.

Today, however, the temperature came down to 38.8, according to sources in the meteorological department.

The relative humidity yesterday was 82 per cent which slightly came down to 81 per cent today.

“The temperature will remain almost the same with marginal variations in the next three or four days,” said Dilip Saha, the director of the meteorological department of India’s Tripura unit.

He said 20 years back on May 19, 1994, the temperature rose to 39 degrees Celsius but that was for only one day.

“The problem this time is the sustained nature of the heat wave. The temperature has been rising since the end of February. This has worsened the situation,” said Saha.

He also expressed concern over declining annual rainfall in the state over the past few years, pointing out that earlier the average annual rainfall in the state used to be between 2,200mm and 2,600mm but over the past few years, the state has been receiving not more than 1,700mm of rainfall.

The heat wave has alsocreated a severe water crisis in the hilly as the water level in all the 10 major rivers of the state has dropped to alarming levels.

“We are sending water tankers to the hilly interiors of the state but unless there is sufficient rainfall soon, the situation will become difficult to handle,” said M.K. Roy, the executive engineer in the PWD (water resource) department.