India: Heat Wave OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2003/0090
OCHA Situation Report No.1
India - Heat Wave
Occurred on 20 May 2003

This report is based on information provided by the UNDP Office in India as well as media reports.


1. Severe heat waves have affected large parts of India for the past three weeks. The affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. However, according to news reports, the southwest monsoon arrived in India today, a few days behind schedule, landing first in the northeast instead of the southern coast.

2. The worst affected state is Andhra Pradesh, where the heat waves began on 20 May 2003. The maximum daily temperature has been above 45 degrees Celsius, which is 7 to 10 degrees higher than the normal temperature for the season. The maximum temperature was 47.5 degrees Celcius at Gannavaran (East Godavari District) recorded on the 22 May 2003.

3. As of 4 June, the heat waves had claimed the lives of 1,210 people in Andhra Pradesh alone. Twenty-three districts are affected, the most severely being Nalgonda (192 deaths), West Godavari (175 deaths), East Godavari (152 deaths), Praskasam (98 deaths), Guntur (138 deaths), Krishna (66 deaths), Chittor (42 deaths), and Nellore (31 deaths).

4. Most of the victims are daily wage laborers, rickshaw pullers and construction workers, most of whom live Below the Poverty Line (BPL). Andhra Pradesh has one of the highest concentrations of the country's poorest of the poor. Almost 12 million people, 15 % of the population, live below the poverty line.

II. Response by the Government of Andhra Pradesh

  • The Revenue Control Room is operating 24 hours/day to monitor the situation.
  • The Chief Minister has announced a grant of INR 10,000 (USD 215) to the family of each victim.
  • Through the District Collectors, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has warned people not to work between 12.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.
  • Pamphlets on "Do's and Don'ts" in case of a heat wave have been provided to the public.

5. No official Government request for international assistance has been received so far.

6. OCHA is in close contact with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in India and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

7. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

MAP - India: Heat Wave - Location Map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. Rudolf Müller/ Mr. K. Quiding
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 31/ 17 69

Press contact:
(GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) - Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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