Vast regions of India have been sweltering in searing temperatures that have risen to over 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in areas of the nation, and the heatwave is taking its toll on both man and beast.
The heatwave has exposed falling water levels in reservoirs and there have been water shortages with rationing which has brought about violence over water and there have been a number of human deaths reported from the heat.
One of the most recent reports is that four passengers on a train have died due to the extreme heat while another passenger has been hospitalized in a critical condition, an official said.
According to reports, the passengers travelling on the Kerala Express train on Monday evening complained of uneasiness and by the time the train reached Jhansi, they had passed away.
The deceased were part of a group that was returning after visiting Varanasi and Agra. A member of the group said “shortly after we left Agra, the heat became unbearable and some people started complaining of breathing problems and uneasiness. Before we could get some help, they collapsed.”
The suffocating heatwave has unfortunately also brought violence over water. In Jharkhand state it was reported a man stabbed six others after he was stopped from filling extra water barrels at a public tank.
Then a 33-year-old man died after a similar fight in Tamil Nadu state.
Not only are people suffering but the heat is taking a mounting toll on both humans and animals. A troop of monkeys died from suspected heatstroke as scorching temperatures continue to last week over week.
The monkeys died in Joshi Baba forest range in Madhya Pradesh state where the thermometer reached 46 Celsius (114 Fahrenheit). District forest officer P. N. Mishra said the primates were believed to have fought with a rival troop over access to a water source.
He said, “This is rare and strange as herbivores don’t indulge in such conflicts. But certain groups of monkeys which are large in number and dominate that particular part may have scared away the smaller group of monkeys from the water.”
An autopsy said heatstroke likely caused their deaths. And tigers have also been reported to be moving out of forest reserves into villages in search of water, causing alerts.
Also, in Uttar Pradesh state, 26 people died after freak dust storms, rain and lightning hit the northern plains officials said.
The Indian peninsula has seen a drastic change in rainfall patterns over the past decade, marked by frequent droughts, floods and sudden storms.
The Biblical prophecies (Luke 21, Revelation 16) foretell how the weather cycles will intensify until humankind is affected with great heat as a sign of the Last Days prophecies indicating the coming end of the age and the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ.
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