Within hours of returning from a hectic three-nation tour of Europe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired an important meeting to review the preparedness for the rising temperatures as well as the upcoming monsoon season.
The meeting was attended by senior ministers and officials who briefed the PM on the situation in different states.
Modi is believed to have instructed the officials to see that all arrangements were in place to deal with the situation that might arise in different parts of the country in the coming weeks.
Several parts of the country have been reeling under an intense heatwave for the past few weeks with temperatures soaring to an all-time time high at several places.
Average maximum temperatures reached 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius in the northwest and central India respectively with both the regions of the country experiencing the hottest April in 122 years.
A hailstorm and rainfall lashed parts of Delhi on Wednesday bringing respite from the sweltering heat. The heatwave is likely to return to the national capital after 7 May.
Heatwaves are common in India in the spring and early summer, especially in May, which is typically the hottest month. But they are often relieved by the onset of the monsoon season from late May through September.
The heatwave began in late March in northern India and spread into the first weeks of April. Although heatwaves are not uncommon in this region during the pre-monsoon season from April to June, residents and meteorologists have noted that this heatwave was the earliest they could remember.
The average temperature in India in March 2022 was about 33 degrees Celsius, the warmest March ever recorded since records began in 1902.
In major cities such as Delhi, temperatures went up to over 45 degrees Celsius. These temperatures are 10 degrees Celsius warmer than the normal high temperatures for April and approached the all-time record temperatures for the month.