Vijay Kumar

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On Tuesday afternoon, the coastal air of Chennai was dryer than usual. Gusts of warm wind blew through the treeless streets of the city. A heat wave had set in over the city, and this time, there are fewer trees to take it on.

Residents have been advised by the district authorities not to step out of their homes between noon and 3 pm. On April 18, the India Meteorological Department had issued a heat wave warning for 18 districts in Tamil Nadu, as temperature in several places crossed the 40 degrees Celsius mark. On Monday, the Chennai airport recorded a temperature of 42.2 degrees Celsius, which is 6.5 degrees above normal. The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency alerted the collectors of affected districts to take precautions in the event of high temperatures.

“It will take at least a couple of days for the heat wave to recede,” said a duty assistant at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai. “But the temperature will reduce only by one or two degrees. This April is going to remain quite warm.”

There is little that can be done other than to stay indoors and wait for the heat wave to pass. With one-fourth of the city’s tree cover destroyed by the cyclonic storm Vardah on December 12 and several lakes running dry, the natural defences of the city to take on summer heat are at an all time low.please help

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