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This is what the climate crisis looks like: Birds fall out of the sky as temperatures hit record high in India

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 this 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.

A hospital curator feeds an Indian Flying Fox bat at Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad (Getty Images)

Provided by The Independent A hospital curator feeds an Indian Flying Fox bat at Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad (Getty Images)

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 managed by nonprofit Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Gujarat.

“We have seen a 10 per cent 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.

A vet provides medicine to an eagle in Ahmedabad (Reuters via Amit Dave)

Provided by The Independent A vet provides medicine to an eagle in Ahmedabad (Reuters via Amit Dave)

Extreme hot spells, or heatwaves, began much earlier in India and Pakistan this year, with the first spell 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 chief underlying cause of this extreme weather event is thought to be the climate crisis.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said 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. 

Reference: The Independent: Stuti Mishra

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