Intense heat in northern India has killed at least 166 people, overwhelming the electrical grid, hospitals, and morgues. “All our staff has been here for three days straight and are completely overworked,” Dr. Aditya Singh, an emergency medical officer at the Ballia district hospital — which itself did not have air conditioning due to the power outages — told the AP.
“So many people are dying from the heat that we are not getting a minute’s time to rest. On Sunday, I carried 26 dead bodies,” added Jitendra Kumar Yadav, a hearse driver in Deoria town. Cities in India, and around the world, are key to ameliorating the deadly effects of extreme heatwaves made worse and more frequent by climate change.
One such idea is what the industry calls “parametric insurance.” One example — pitched by the Self-Employed Women’s Association, a local labor union in Ahmedabad, India — is insurance purchased by entrepreneurs against extreme heat, protecting venders’ bodies from being forced to endanger their health by selling outside during the day and their incomes from reduced sales. (Indian heatwave: AP, Bloomberg $; Cities and parametric insurance: Bloomberg $, Context, explainer); Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves)