Over 200 have died in the last three days in India as a severe heatwave grips the country in temperatures soaring up to 47 degrees celsius (116 degrees fahrenheit).
Telengana and Andhra Pradesh are the worst states affected, with hospitals struggling to cope with the surge of inpatients suffering from sunstroke.
As the temperature soared past the 45 degrees the India Meteorological Department upgraded the heat wave warning to “severe”, and forecast at least three more scorching days in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Warangal, Khammam, Rangareddy, Hyderabad, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts of Telangana.
In Andhra, districts hit were East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Kurnool. IMD officials feared the region would break its past record of maximum temperature – the highest day temperature ever recorded in AP and Telangana was 48.8 degree in Vijayawada on May 11, 2002.
This is also the first time ever that so many people have died due to heat wave in such a short span in Telangana and AP — even when they were one entity. With the toll mounting by the day, Telangana and AP governments on Friday reviewed the situation and directed field level officials to take up a massive campaign to advise people on how to save themselves from the high temperatures.
In Odisha, heatwave-like conditions prevailed in large parts forcing people to remain indoor and prompting the administration to take precautionary measures.
The Odisha government received reports of 23 deaths allegedly due to sun stroke on Friday.
West Bengal continued to reel under intense heatwave as a cab driver died of a suspected heatstroke on Saturday taking the toll to four since Friday.
In Punjab and Haryana, intense heatwave swept across the two states with mercury soaring sharply in many areas.