More that 150 dead in one of the worst heatwaves for India
Comment of the Day

June 16 2014

Commentary by David Fuller

More that 150 dead in one of the worst heatwaves for India


Here is the opening of this article on India’s delayed monsoon, reported by Bloomberg:


Parts of India are experiencing one of the worst heatwaves to ever hit central and northern regions, due to the late summer monsoon. Temperatures peaked at 44C in some areas, causing the death of many people due to sunstroke.

Temperatures in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan states started to surge last week to 42-43C, with 45 sunstroke deaths registered in Vizianagaram district, an eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

In East Godavari, another district, it is said that 31 people have died. District collector Neetu Prasad said, “The district was under the grip of severe heatwave in the last two days and high temperatures of 43-46C were recorded at various places. So far, the heatwave has claimed 31 lives in the district.”

In Rajasthan, temperatures also hit 43C, with weather forecasters saying it could rise further in the north-west.

The unusual heat is said to be caused by a late monsoon season, which hit the south of the country on June 6, later than usual.

Monsoon is vital to India, which gets around 80% of its rainfall from this phenomenon. Not only does it provide fresh water for agriculture and the environment, it is also a relief to the summer heat and a few days of delay can have devastating effects. A recent study suggested that the more the weather is unbearable, the more likely people might be to commit crime.

David Fuller's view

This delay is a risk for India in terms of 2014’s GDP growth and rate of inflation.  It has already caused the rupee to weaken against the US dollar over the last two days (shown inversely).  This next forecast from The New Indian Express needs to be right to limit damage caused by hot weather and the delayed monsoon: Heatwave to Abate in 2 Days, Monsoon Likely Next Week.

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