Summer arrives a bit too soon in Chittoor this year

Horsley Hills records 31°C in April for the first time as denizens wilt under heat

The unforgiving summer has arrived early this year for residents of Chittoor district, with temperatures shooting up to 42 degrees Celsius in parts of the district in the last few days.

The extreme heat is taking a toll on senior citizens, with few daring to venture out of their homes. Several elderly people have already been rushed to Primary Health Centres with symptoms of sunstroke in Varadaiahpalem, Satyavedu, Nagalapuram, Puttur and Nindra mandals.

Horsley Hills, the popular summer resort in the district, clocked 31°C on Monday — considered to be the highest temperature recorded in April. This is definitely an indication that summer has made an early onset this year, say denizens.

Several mandals in Madanapalle division, which generally see temperatures of around 33° C in April, have seen mercury rising by over three degrees than normal.

The sudden change in weather brought heavy winds and hailstorms in Puthalapattu, Pakala, Penumuru and GD Nellore mandals during the last 24 hours, while mango growers in the region were a worried lot with considerable damage to the mango crops.

The sweltering heat has forced people to remain indoors from 11 a.m. till after 3 p.m. Most roads are deserted during this time at several places, particularly in the eastern mandals. Several theatres where new movies have been released are also witnessing thin crowds. A senior official of the APSRTC at Chittoor said that the occupancy has come down by 30%, mostly in the rural areas, due to the heat.

Fruit sales pick up

Meanwhile, during the last one week, business has been brisk for vendors selling tender coconuts, watermelon and musk melons. The price of watermelon, which stood at ₹15 a kg till March-end, jumped to ₹25. Musk melon, which was being sold for ₹100 per 3 kg, has also become costlier. Lemons are also flying off the shelves, and are selling for ₹6-7 each.

The summer heat also had its impact felt on the prices of sought-after flower varieties of jasmine and rose.

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