April 14th, 2016
The National Crime Records Bureau Data indicates that a total of 5778 people lost their lives due to Heat Stroke from 2010 to 2014. This is about 3 deaths a day. Andhra Pradesh alone accounted for 1171 of these deaths which is 20% of all the deaths.
This is the season of extreme temperatures. Many people lose their lives each year because of the extreme heat. The number of deaths due to Heat Stroke, recorded by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) between 2010 and 2014 indicates that a total of 5778 people lost their lives across the country.
3 people lose their life every day
Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 5778 people lost their lives because of Heat Stroke, an average of 3 deaths per day. 1274 people lost their lives in 2010 while the number came down to 793 in 2011, a decrease of 38%. The year 2011 saw a sudden dip in the number of deaths. The number of deaths increased to 1247 in 2012. The number for 2013 was 1216 and for 2014 was 1248.
More than 80% of the victims are Male
Out of 5778 deaths from 2010 to 2014, 4726 victims were male while 1052 victims were female. About 82% of the victims in these five years are male while the rest of 18% of female. This breakup was more or less same across the five years. The number of male victims was more than 1000 in four of the five years.
Heat Stroke Deaths account for 5% of the deaths due to Natural Cases
The NCRB compiles deaths due to various natural cases like Avalanche, Cyclone, Cold, Tsunami, Earthquake, Floods, and Landslides etc. Deaths due to Heat Stroke account for close to 5% of all the deaths due to the natural causes in these five years. This percentage has been steadily increasing over the years. In 2014, the number of deaths of due to Heat Stroke account for 6.2% of all the deaths. While the total number of deaths due to natural cases has been coming down, the number of deaths because of Heat Stroke has not come down proportionally.
1 out of every 5 deaths occurred in Andhra Pradesh
Out of the 5778 deaths in these 5 years, 1171 deaths occurred in Andhra Pradesh alone. This is 1 out of every 5 deaths. Punjab was next in the list of victims with 768 deaths in these five years. Uttar Pradesh was third with 612 deaths. Bihar was next with 563 deaths. Odisha was also in the top five in the number of victims with 484 deaths. Tamil Nadu recorded only 19 deaths in these 5 years. In fact, Tamil Nadu did not record a single death in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Is the data accurate?
The NCRB data is collected by State Crime Records Bureaux (SCRBx) from the District Crime Records Bureaux (DCRBx) and sent to NCRB at the end of the year. The NCRB data pertains to deaths that are recorded. At the same time, there could be other deaths due to Heat Stroke that go unrecorded.
The lower number of victims in states like Tamil Nadu could possibly be because of two reasons. First is that the NCRB data is not accurate especially when the temperature in Tamil Nadu over the years, is not very different from its neighbour Andhra Pradesh. The second could be a case of better planning in Tamil Nadu to tackle the heat wave compared to its neighbour. It will need deeper investigation to understand the real reason.