13 April, 2021

The Sun God’s Own Country

Ravaged by floods last year, the state now faces a freakishly hot summer

Photograph by V.V. Biju
The Sun God’s Own Country

When the poet T.S. Eliot called April the cruellest month, little did he know that his words would come prophetic in Kerala a century later. A sudden spell of blistering heat has come as a surprise for the state’s populace and reportedly killed three people.

The India Meteorological Depart­ment (IMD) has stated that 13 of the 14 districts in Kerala, with the exception of hilly Idukki, have seen a rise in temperatures of three to four degrees Celsius. Although a tropical region, the searing weather is unprecedented even for the summer months. Every day, there are reports of close to 50 cases of sunstrokes and burns from across the state.

Interestingly, the blistering weather is not a heat wave. Sekhar Lukose Kuriakose, member secretary, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), says, “The IMD still hasn’t declared a heat wave in Kerala. However, precautionary measures have been taken since there were warnings of possible heat wave conditions in the state.” The meteorological department proclaims a heat wave when the deviation in...

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