With the Lok Sabha elections just over two weeks away, if one thought the political climate was the only thing heating up, you might be mistaken. In Kerala, temperatures too have been beating expectations, with some districts like Palakkad recording temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius on Monday. At least 36 people - mostly from Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta - suffered sunburns on Monday, health ministry sources told NDTV.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Team has warned of unusual rise in temperatures. People in Alappuzha, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kottayam have been warned against a rise of temperature by three or four degrees till today, while districts like Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur Malappuram among others are expected to face a rise of 2-3 degrees till Thursday.
A set of guidelines have also been released by state authorities directing people to avoid direct exposure to the sun in the peak afternoon hours between 11 am and 3 pm. Pregnant women, patients and the elderly have been advised to avoid going outside during these hours, while the labour commission has advised that working hours of labourers be adjusted to avoid extreme afternoon heat. School authorities have been directed to ensure that students taking exams or being taken out on tours are not directly exposed to the sun after 11 am.
Police and media personnel have been advised to use umbrellas and keep themselves hydrated. Those delivering food have been told to avoid wearing black clothes.
Political parties too have taken note of the extreme conditions. Parties are trying to incorporate regular breaks during the day and are making efforts to ensure there are more indoor activities in the afternoon.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, expressing concern for birds and animals of the state, has urged people to provide water to birds and animals in small pots or coconut shells to beat the summer heat.
In a Facebook post, Chief Minister Vijayan said that the forest department was taking steps to provide water to birds and animals in the forest by providing temporary water sources.