The Highest Ever Recorded Heatwave Kills At Least 127 in V’nagaram, India

Heatwave Warning

Intense heat wave conditions accounted for the highest ever sunstroke deaths in Vizianagaram district, killing a total of 127 people this summer. Though the district is usually cool around this time, continuous hot spell caused sunstrokes across Vizianagaram, claiming many lives.

District collector Kantilal Dande officially confirmed the death toll after acquiring the details from all the 34 mandals. The neighbouring districts of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam also registered a large number of sunstroke deaths.

Temperatures peaked to the highest ever 44 degree Celsius in Vizianagaram district and hovered over that level in the past three weeks. While a majority of the victims were aged people, some youngsters also succumbed to the simmering heat.

Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has announced a compensation of `1 lakh from the CM Relief Fund to each of the deceased. He also announced payment of `50,000 to the relatives of the victims from the Apadbandhu scheme.

However, the government has not yet released the guidelines for certifying the sunstroke deaths this year. The guidelines are mandatory for initiating the process of disbursal of compensation. According to the existing guidelines in the government, there is an age limit to certify sunstroke deaths. The officials have stated that they will certify sunstroke deaths of those aged between 18 years and 50 years.

Speaking to Express, a senior revenue official said that 127 deaths have been certified according to the rules and regulations. However, he said that the total death roll in the district is about 190. The administration has written a letter to the government seeking guidelines to process the applications for compensation, he added.

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