KOLKATA, India – The authorities in parts of India have shut schools for a week after they recorded sweltering temperatures of more than 40 deg C.
At least two states – Tripura in the north-east and West Bengal in the east – ordered schools to shut this week, as temperatures rose more than 5 deg C above normal.
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, recorded temperatures of 40 deg C on Thursday and 41 deg C on Friday, more than five degrees above normal for the time of year, Mr G. K. Das, an official at the state weather office, told Reuters.
India is likely to experience heatwaves between March and May, the national weather office said in February.
Average maximum temperature in February across India was 29.54 deg C, the highest since 1901, when the India Meteorological Department started keeping weather records.
Scientists have linked the early onset of an intense summer to climate change, and say more than a billion people in India and neighbouring Pakistan are in some way vulnerable to the extreme heat. REUTERS