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Birds falling from the sky as India’s temperatures break records

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People cool off in river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, India, during heatwave conditions. Photo: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

People cool off in river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, India, during heatwave conditions. Photo: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

People cool off in river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, India, during heatwave conditions. Photo: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Birds are falling from the sky in western India due to exhaustion and dehydration as a scorching heatwave continues for the third month.

The long-running heatwave spell has continued to bake citizens in Delhi after record temperatures breached an unprecedented 49C mark in some parts of India’s national capital at the weekend.

In the western state of Gujarat – where the temperature has hovered above 40C for weeks now and is set to touch 46C in several pockets – rescuers are coming across birds that have fallen from the sky.

The impact of the excruciating heat on animals has been neglected so far, as humans suffering from heatstrokes and dehydration are being treated in hospitals where separate wards for heatwave-related conditions are being set up in several areas of the state.

Conditions have deteriorated significantly for animals because this year’s heatwave is “one of the worst in recent times”, according to rescuers working in an animal hospital that is managed by the nonprofit Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Gujarat.

“We have seen a 10pc increase in the number of birds that need rescuing,” Manoj Bhavsar, who works closely with the trust and has been rescuing birds for more than a decade, told the Reuters news agency.

Activists have been picking up these birds and taking them to the trust-run hospital to provide immediate care, such as injecting water into their mouths using syringes and feeding birds multi-vitamin tablets.

Extreme hot spells, or heatwaves, began much earlier in India and Pakistan this year, with the first spell being recorded as early as March.

Heatwaves in the subcontinent are usually reported either in May, or in some instances, in April.

While the change in the pattern of heatwaves becoming stronger and longer stems from several factors, the underlying cause for this extreme weather event is thought to be the climate crisis.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that two of its weather stations in the capital’s Mungeshpur and Najafgarh areas recorded temperatures at 49.2C and 49.1C respectively in recent days. (© Independent News Service)

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