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Did Delhi’s temperature really top 52 degrees? Indian officials are sceptical

Meteorologists are investigating one Delhi weather station for faults after it registered a record temperature of 52.9℃ – making global headlines
  • Regardless of the outcome, the country’s massive capital has been in the middle of a heatwave that poses serious risks to public health

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UPDATED: 31 May 2024, 7:59 am

While India’s capital is in the grip of a searing heatwave, the country’s meteorological department suspects temperatures may not have neared the 53℃ that was recorded at a weather station in the sprawling city’s north-east earlier this week – and widely reported around the world.

Indian authorities have announced they are investigating Mungeshpur station’s sensors for faults, as other Delhi weather stations recorded temperatures of between 45.2 and 49.1 degrees Celsius, the Guardian reports

If the Mungeshpur temperature – 52.9 degrees – is verified, it will be the hottest ever recorded in India.

[See more: The Asian heatwave is shattering meteorological records]

Regardless of whether the heatwave is record-breaking or not, it has put intense stress on the city of around 20 million people. Water scarcity is a particular problem, with Delhi’s water minister Atishi Marlena announcing “a slew” of rationing measures.

Local newspapers have been publishing doctors’ tips on how to stay safe, from remaining indoors to wearing loose cotton clothing. However, the jobs of many Delhi residents, including construction workers and street sellers, make following much of the advice difficult.

The blistering temperatures have been blamed on winds blowing in from nearby Rajasthan, an area with extensive desert. Yesterday, local media reported the state’s seven day death toll from heat-related incidents as 55.

UPDATED: 31 May 2024, 7:59 am

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