With mercury levels in various districts of Kerala already touching 35 degrees Celsius, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has warned of a steep rise in temperature in the coming days. In a statement issued on Saturday, the KSDMA said that according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the temperature in the state is expected to rise between 2 to 4 degrees Celsius in the coming days.
According to the KSDMA, the temperatures in the districts of Palakkad, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode are expected to be 8 degrees above normal on March 5.
With the mercury levels expected to rise, the state disaster management authority has listed necessary measures for people to follow during the summer.
“The public should try and not expose themselves to direct sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm at least in order to avoid sunstroke,” KSDMA stated in its report. It also went on to instruct the public to carry a small bottle of water with them wherever they go and keep drinking it in order to avoid dehydration. Other instructions, such as wearing light colour clothes to reflect light and thereby avoiding heat, were also instructed by the authority.
KSDMA has also requested parents and school authorities to pay extra attention to their children/students as they will be writing their examinations soon. “Requesting everyone to follow the instructions provided by the disaster management authority, the health department and the labour department,” stated KSDMA.
Because of the rise in temperature levels, the state’s Labour Department had earlier issued an order allowing mandatory break time for labourers to avoid sunstroke. All labourers in the state who are exposed to sunlight which could potentially lead to a sunstroke have been ordered to rest indoors between 12 pm and 3 pm during the summer months.
According to a report by The New Indian Express, environmental activists feel that one of the reasons for the change in Kerala’s climatic cycle is the loss of green cover and the increase in terraced houses and buildings.
"The share of summer rains has been decreasing for the past one decade. We receive 70 per cent of the annual rain during the South-West Monsoon. The recent phenomenon is heavy rainfall during the South-West Monsoon and scarce showers during summer,” Green activist MN Jayachandran told TNIE. He also went on to add that, “the cement surfaces are releasing more heat and we’re experiencing extreme climatic conditions. The winter was extremely cold this year and now the summer is scorching. These are worrying trends.”