At least 44 people have died in a blistering heatwave that hit three Bihar districts, officials said yesterday.
The officials at the Disaster Management Control Room said 22 people died in Aurangabad, 20 in Gaya and two in Nawada districts due to the heatwave.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the deaths due to the “loo” winds and the heatstroke in the three districts and has announced a payment of Rs four lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of those killed, an official release said.
He directed the officials concerned to take necessary steps and measures in dealing with the blistering heat and loo.
The chief minister also asked the officials to provide all medical help to those affected by the heatstroke.
Major cities such as Patna, Gaya and Bhagalpur witnessed the heatwave on Saturday.
According to the Patna Meteorological Centre, the state capital registered a maximum temperature of 45.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday, the highest in June in the last 10 years, while Gaya and Bhagalpur recorded a high of 45.2 and 41.5 degrees Celsius respectively.
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is 4.5 degrees Celsius above normal for two consecutive days, a MeT official said.
Saturday’s maximum temperatures recorded in Patna, Gaya and Bhagalpur were 9.2 degrees, 7.6 degrees and 5.5 degrees Celsius above normal respectively.
The MeT department has forecast that the heatwave will continue in these three cities.
The state government on Saturday said all schools in Patna city will remain closed till June 19 in view of the prevailing weather conditions.