PATNA: Severe heatwave killed 29 more people in Bihar in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll over the past two days to 78, official said on Monday. However unofficially, the heatwave has claimed more than 150 lives in across a dozen districts.
Deaths were reported from Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui districts, where temperatures hovered around 45 degrees Celsius on June 15 and 16.
According to the state disaster management department website, some 78 deaths had been recorded till 11 am on Monday. Of these, Aurangabad recorded 33 deaths, Gaya 31, Nawada 12 and Jamui 2.
Due to the extreme heatwave conditions prevailing in Bihar, district magistrate of Gaya using the provisions under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) issued an order prohibiting people from stepping out of their houses between 11 am to 4 pm.
The order from the district magistrate stated that a lot of people have died in the district due to the scorching heatwave and its maximum impact is between 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
“Due to the incidents of deaths caused by the heat wave, there could be an environment of anger and anti-social elements which could further escalate to disruption of law and order in the district. Therefore, the district magistrate of Gaya has issued an order of prohibition using the powers conferred in Section 144 of the CrPC,” said an official order from the public relations branch of district magistrate.
Additional health director of Magadh range Dr Vijay Kumar said that nearly 150 people had been admitted in government-run hospitals in Gaya, Aurangabad and Nawada, while dozens were being treated at primary health centres in the three districts.
The state health department on Monday sent a team of doctors to the worst-hit Aurangabad and Gaya districts.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the deaths and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the victims.
The government has also issued a heat alert in the wake of the rising death toll and advised people to take care while going outside during day time.