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Delhi heat sends power demand soaring to record high


By Cherylann MollanBBC News, Mumbai

Getty Images A woman covers her face in the heat Getty Images

The Indian capital is reeling under a prolonged heatwave

India’s capital Delhi is reeling under a prolonged heatwave that has sent power demand soaring to a record 8,647 megawatts (MW) this week.

Temperatures have hovered around 44-45C in the city and other parts of northern India for weeks.

The widespread use of cooling appliances such as ACs has put pressure on resources, leading to frequent power outages in Delhi.

The capital’s record on Tuesday came a day after northern India saw peak power consumption at 89,000 MW.

Delhi’s electricity demand has broken many records this season, first on 22 May when it touched 8,000 MW.

On Monday, the city’s airport witnessed a power outage that lasted several minutes and impacted service at terminals.

Images shared on social media showed passengers standing in long queues at check-in counters as airline staff waited for their computers to turn on again.

The city is also battling a severe water crisis. Videos shared on social media show crowds holding buckets thronging water trucks.

Getty Images NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 6: People fill water from a Delhi Jal Board Tanker amid water scarcity at Anand Parbat on June 6, 2024 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)Getty Images

People fill water from a water tanker in Delhi

The weather department has said that the heatwave over northern India is likely to persist for the next few days.

Dozens of people have died of heat-related illnesses since March, when summer set in.

In the first week of June, more than 50 people died due to the heat in a span of three days in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the north-eastern state of Odisha (formerly Orissa).

Summers in India are usually hot and humid, but this year, the heat has been exceptionally harsh with longer, more intense and frequent heatwaves.

On Tuesday, the weather department said the country is also likely to receive below-normal rainfall in June.

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