South Asia faces extreme weather with heatwave and heavy rains in India, cyclone in Bangladesh

South Asia faces extreme weather with heatwave and heavy rains in India, cyclone in Bangladesh


Extreme temperatures throughout Asia last month were made worse due to man-induced climate change

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – South Asia is experiencing extreme weather conditions, with at least nine killed due to a suspected heat stroke in India's west, while parts of Bangladesh and neighbouring states are likely to be hit by a cyclone in a couple of days.

Extreme temperatures throughout Asia last month were made worse most likely as a result of human-driven climate change, a team of international scientists said.

India's summer temperatures often peak in May, but scientists have predicted more heatwave days than usual this year, largely caused by fewer non-monsoon thunder showers and an active but weakening dry El Nino weather phenomenon.

At least nine deaths in Rajasthan in India's west were suspected to have resulted from people falling sick in the sweltering heat, local media said.

The state's disaster management officials told Reuters they had yet to ascertain the cause, as medical examinations were not complete.

The news comes after the city of Barmer in Rajasthan topped temperature charts this week with a record 48.8 Celsius (119.84 Fahrenheit) on Thursday.

Weather officials have warned of conditions ranging from a heatwave to severe heatwave in many parts of the state, as well as in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana.

Indian weather officials set the heatwave threshold at a maximum temperature of 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the plains, as well as a departure of at least 4.5 Celsius (40.1 Fahrenheit) from the normal maximum temperature.

In neighbouring Pakistan, the climate change ministry said that about 26 districts in the country were boiling under a severe heatwave as of Thursday, with the current spell of sizzling temperature likely to last until May 30.

The temperature is expected to hit 50 Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in at least two cities in the southern province of Sindh on Friday, which has already delayed week annual school exams due to the blistering heat.


In a striking contrast, Bangladesh and parts of West Bengal in eastern India are expected to be hit by "severe cyclonic storm" Remal, which is likely to make landfall on Sunday, IMD has predicted.

In Kerala in southern India at least seven people died this week following pre-monsoon rains that were about 18% percent heavier than normal, bringing floods that disrupted flight schedules in some areas.

With a red alert issued by the weather department, Kerala is likely to be lashed with very heavy to extremely heavy rain on Friday too.

According to the state's Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), a 70-year-old man died in a lightning strike in Kasaragod district on Wednesday, while brothers aged 18 and 21 died after falling into a quarry filled with water in Palakkad on Tuesday.

Four people also died in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts after falling into water, said an official at the SDMA.

Temperatures often peak during May, but India's weather department was predicting seven to ten heatwave days in northwestern regions this month, compared to the usual two to three days.

New Delhi will vote on Saturday, along with the nearby states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh among others, in the penultimate phase of a seven-stage national vote, with temperatures predicted to touch 46 degrees Celsius (115 Farenheit) on the day.