Stifling heat has killed more than 1,100 people in India in less than one week.
The worst-hit area is the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, where authorities say 852 people have died in the heat wave. Another 266 have died in the neighboring state of Telangana.
India recorded its highest maximum temperature of 47 degrees Celsius — 117 degrees Fahrenheit — at Angul in the state of Odisha on Monday, according to B.P. Yadav, director of the India Meteorological Department.
Hot, dry conditions are being made worse by winds blowing in from Pakistan’s Sindh province across the northern and central plains of India. “This extreme, dry heat is being blown into India by westerly winds,” Yadav said.
The high temperatures are expected to continue for another two days before any respite, the meteorological department warned Tuesday. However, the agency said that another hot spell would likely soon follow.
Among the worst-hit states are Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the south. The northern states of Rajasthan and Haryana are also reeling from the intense summer as is India’s capital, New Delhi, Yadav said.
Heat taking toll on the poor
Many of the dead are reported to be poorer people, beggars and the homeless as well as construction workers who are expected to work on building sites in direct sunlight.
About one-third of the country’s 1.2 billion people have access to electricity, meaning millions are enduring the blistering heat without relief.
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SOURCE: CNN, Harmeet Shah Singh and Rishabh Pratap