As the heat wave condition intensified in Odisha where Titlagarh was the hottest place at 45.5 degrees Celsius today, the state government announced summer vacation in schools from tomorrow, a week ahead of schedule. School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters that summer vacation has been advanced in all the schools in the state which would remain closed from tomorrow in view of the scorching heat. The schools, both government-run and private ones, would reopen on June 18 after summer vacation, which normally begins from the first week of May, he said, adding steps would be taken to make up for the loss of classes.
The state virtually turned into a cauldron as the mercury breached the 42 degree mark in nine towns and 40 degree mark in at least 14 places.
The MeT office has forecast that the heat wave will intensify.
Two sunstroke deaths have so far been reported in the state, one each from Bargarh and Angul district, according to the office of the Special Relief Commissioner.
Angul town recorded a maximum temperature of 44.1 degrees Celsius, it was 43.8 degrees Celsius at Hirakud, 43.6 degrees Celsius at both Balangir and Talcher, 43.5 degrees Celsius at Bhawanipatna and 43 degrees Celsius at Sundargarh, it said.
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Jharsuguda recorded 42.6 degrees Celsius, while the mercury stood at 42.2 degrees Celsius in Sambalpur, 42 degrees Celsius at Malkangiri, 41.6 degrees Celsius at Sonepur, 41.5 degrees Celsius at Keonjhargarh, 40.6 degrees Celsius at Phulbani and 40.4 degrees Celsius at Dhenkanal, the MeT office said.
Bhubaneswar recorded a maximum temperature of 37.7 degrees Celsius, while the mercury at neighbouring Cuttack city touched 38 degrees Celsius. There was little respite from the scorching heat in most places of interior Odisha.
Meanwhile, the MeT office said the heat wave like condition is likely to prevail over interior and western districts of Odisha for a week and the temperature may range between 43 and 45 degrees Celsius in western region.
Temperature in some of the coastal districts may increase up to 40 degrees Celsius but sea breeze is likely to prevail in these areas in the afternoon, it said.