India isn’t prepared for a lethal mixture of warmth and humidity

India isn’t ready for a deadly combination of heat and humidity

Enlarge (credit score: Prakash Singh | Getty )

R Lakshmanan has been making metal frames within the southern Indian metropolis of Chennai for 20 years. His job entails standing for lengthy hours outside at development websites, pounding screws with cautious precision onto metal rods. Every day he makes practically 600 frames, which find yourself changing into the skeleton of a house. Usually he works 12-hour shifts, starting at 6 am. He at all times feels lucky when he will get to work beneath a shady tree.

However this 12 months, that safety hasn’t been sufficient. Ever since temperatures in March hit a scorching 38° Celsius—4° above regular for Chennai—the situations have been stifling. The metallic frames Lakshmanan works with have been too sizzling to the touch, the metal burning his fingertips and abandoning painful sores. He has seen development staff, particularly ladies, collapse round him, and has needed to take breaks in the course of the workday to deal with suits of dizziness and nausea. “On some days, there’s a lot warmth, it feels such as you’re residing in a fireball,” he says.

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