Hundreds of Millions Threatened by Heat, the 'Silent Killer'

On a hot, humid afternoon on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar in eastern India, construction worker Sabitri Mahanand frets about increasingly "dangerous" summers. Carrying over a dozen bricks on her head, she fears getting sunstroke while at work, but home offers no respite either.

"When the day's work is over, I'm so exhausted that I often don't want to cook food but I have no choice," said Mahanand, 35, wiping the sweat from her face with a cloth wrapped around her waist. "I have to feed myself, my husband and my son."

The ancient city of Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha state - one of the few parts of South Asia that has a heat emergency plan.

Odisha's government departments have been asked to put in place measures in anticipation of heat waves this summer.

The world has already experienced three record-breaking hot years in a row, and the rising global temperature could have profound effects for health, work and staple food supplies for hundreds of millions of people, climate scientists told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

http://news.trust.org/item/20170412060727-eb0eq/

Paula Goodale

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