Ground Report | New Delhi: Cold waves in India; The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), in 2020, cold waves killed 76 times more lives than hot winds. The Department of Statistics said in ‘Part-1 of India’s Environmental Situation’ that in 2020, 152 deaths were recorded due to cold waves, while two people lost their lives due to hot winds.
The IMD report noted that in 2020, the proportion of officially recorded hot winds that caused cold-wave deaths was the highest in 20 years. The country recorded 99 days of cold waves in 2020, downtoearth reported.
The report shows that the number of cold-wave days has increased by about 2.7 times from 2017-2020. Cold waves killed more people between 1980 and 2018 than hot winds. The number of cold-wave days has been increasing every year since 2017. In 2018, the number of such days was 63, which increased by one and a half times to 103 in 2019.
The country recorded the lowest number of deaths due to hot winds in 2020 when the country was under a months-long lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2011, about 60 times more people died from cold waves than from hot winds. According to the IMD, 722 people died due to cold waves while 12 people died due to hot winds.
According to the World Health Organisation, cold-wave causes people to suffer from coronary heart disease, rupture of brain nerves, and respiratory diseases, which lead to their death. (Cold waves in India)
The IMD has only available data for January 2021, the month in which the cold wave claimed maximum lives. The IMD said that the mean monthly minimum temperature over Northwest India in January 2021 was lower than in 2019 and 2020.
The report said that the mean monthly maximum temperature in January 2021 was 2-4 degrees Celsius below normal, it was higher this month in the Gangetic plains and in south-Punjab and north Haryana to its west.
The average monthly temperature in Bihar too was 3-4 degrees Celsius below normal. The data shows that in January 2021, 15 days from cold winds to cold waves were recorded.
These waves were spread over the northern parts of the country and included some places in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. In 2021, cold and severe cold waves were recorded in Uttar Pradesh for 11 days.