Heatwave toll in Bihar touches 76, light rains bring down mercury in some parts of India
Light rains brought some relief in parts of northern and western India on Monday, with the mercury settling below the 40-degree mark after several weeks, though heatwave conditions persisted in several states, including Bihar, where the death toll rose to 76.
Two persons, including an 18-year-old girl, were killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora and Ganderbal districts after being struck by lightning.
A cloudy sky and gusty winds in Delhi kept the mercury in check, with the national capital recording a maximum temperature of 33 degrees Celsius -- six notches below the normal.
Traces of rainfall were recorded at isolated places in the city. The weatherman predicted that similar conditions will prevail in the city for the next three-four days and the mercury will hover between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
Parts of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat also received light rainfall, bringing respite to residents from searing heat.
At 23 mm, Dharamsala received the highest rainfall in Himachal Pradesh, followed by Kangra (17 mm), Bhuntar (10 mm), Janjehli (8 mm), Sundernagar (4.6 mm), Sangla (3 mm), Chamba and Kufri (2 mm each), Shimla and Fagu (1 mm each) and Kalpa (0.8 mm).
Una continued to be the hottest place in the state with a high of 39.7 degrees Celsius, whereas Keylong, the administrative centre of Lahaul and Spiti, recorded the lowest temperature of 5 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the Shimla Meteorological Centre issued a yellow weather warning for Tuesday, forecasting a thunderstorm accompanied by a hailstorm and gusty winds in the plains, low and middle hills of the state.
Some parts of Uttar Pradesh also received light rains, while thunderstorm occurred in a few places.
Karwi, Chilaghat, Mohoba and Orai recorded 1 cm of rainfall each, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
However, the day temperatures were recorded above normal in Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Faizabad, Allahabad divisions.
Allahabad was the hottest place in the state with a maximum temperature of 45.3 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.
According to a forecast by the MeT Department, there is a possibility of rains and dust storm accompanied with gusty winds (30-40 kmph) at isolated places over the state on Tuesday.
Uttarakhand's Dehradun city experienced pleasant weather conditions following a spell of rain. The city had recorded its hottest day of the season on Saturday with a maximum temperature of 41 degrees Celsius.
The maximum temperatures at most places in Haryana also hovered below or close to normal limits as rains lashed many parts of the state.
Rains lashed Narnaul for the second day on Monday, with the city registering a high of 31.5 degrees Celsius, 10 notches below the normal.
Hisar recorded a high of 32.5 degrees Celsius, eight notches below the normal.
Various parts of Rajasthan also recorded rainfall between 2 to 3 cms over the past 24 hours, bringing the mercury down by several notches.
With 40.9 degrees Celsius, Kota recorded the highest temperature in the state, followed by 40 degrees in Bikaner, 39.9 degrees in Jaisalmer and 39.5 in Sri Ganganagar.
Churu, which was the hottest place in the country earlier this month as the mercury touched the 50-degree mark, recorded a high of 37.6 degrees Celsius.
The IMD has forecast dust storm and lightning, along with light to moderate rain, at few places in Rajasthan in the next 24 hours.
Gujarat saw a significant drop in temperature after widespread rainfall due to the impact of a cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea.
Gandhinagar was the hottest place in the state at 38.6 degrees Celsius, followed by Surendranagar at 37.3 degrees Celsius and Vadodara at 37 degrees Celsius.
The state is likely to witness fairly widespread rainfall till Wednesday morning, the IMD said.
Isolated places in districts of Saurashtra-Kutch and north Gujarat are likely to receive 'heavy to very heavy rainfall' during this period, it added.
Meanwhile, a searing heatwave in Bihar claimed 15 more lives on Monday, with the death toll rising to 76.
The Disaster Management Department said 33 people lost their lives in Aurangabad, 31 in Gaya and 12 in Nawada due to the heatwave.
An official of the Bihar Education Project Council said the administration has ordered suspension of classes in all government and government-aided schools till June 22.
Major cities in the state, including Patna, Gaya and Bhagalpur, have been witnessing heatwave for the past couple of days.
According to the MeT department here, the state capital, Patna, had on June 15 recorded a maximum temperature of 45.8 degrees Celsius, the highest for June in 10 years.
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is recorded above 45 degrees for two consecutive days.
The weatherman has forecast heatwave conditions in Patna and Gaya for the next couple of days.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Fatima Bano (18), a resident of Bandipora's Najan village, and Mohammad Yousuf Mir, a resident of the Bakura area of Ganderbal, were killed after they were struck by lightning in separate incidents.
The mercury rose marginally in Punjab, with Amritsar being the hottest place in the state at 40.9 degrees Celsius -- two notches above normal.
The MeT Department has forecast light to moderate rain at a few places in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh on Tuesday.