Monday, March 15, 2010

Lakshadweep and Kerala feel the heat

MUMBAI: Are Kerala and neighbouring Lakshadweep islands becoming the first victims of global warming and climate change? In the last one week, temperatures across all districts in Kerala have risen to an unprecedented high.

Due to the heat, 10 people from the northern districts of Palakkad, Kannur and Thrissur suffered severe burn injuries and were hospitalised for emergency first aid care.

K V Premadas working at a dam site at Kanjirapuzha in Palakkad district had skin from his hands and legs peeling off due to sun burns. Mohammed, a paddy field farmer from Thrissur, fell unconscious in the heat. He had burns all over his body. Another eight students from a school in Irikkur in Kannur suffered heat stroke and burn injures.

This is not the usual heat wave.

Temperatures are definitely on the rise compared to last 50 years, K Santhosh director of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Trivandrum, told TOI on Sunday.

IMD data show that there has been a rise of over one degree in February and March this year compared to the last 50 years. Environmentalists said that the state governments do not take punitive action against large scale destruction of mangroves, deforestation and mining of rivers.

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