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Deadly heatwave in India kills more than 500 people



Some parts of the country are hitting 45C, leaving many people in the most isolated areas dead by heatstroke and extreme dehydration. Authorities say the heatwave might last for another 48 hours.

Areas hit by the high temperatures include Delhi, Palam, Uttar Pradesh and southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – where temperature hit 48C.

People have been advised to stay indoors and drink plenty of water, but many living in rural areas or in the streets might struggle to do that.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned the heat is likely to last for at least two more days, with eastern and central states being strongly affected. Thunderstorms are expected to follow the heatwave in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.

YK Reddy, director of the meteorological centre of Hyderabad in the state of Telangana explained, “The conditions continuing since Wednesday is the result of a northwesterly dry wind blowing from Rajasthan and Gujarat and a surface trough running from Odisha to Tamil Nadu along the coast of Andhra. Cloudless skies allowing penetration of the sun rays which are absorbed by the land, adding to the heat.”

Last year, India experienced another deadly heatwave – which claimed the lives of 150 people – due to late summer monsoon.

However, the Asian nation is not the only one facing extreme heat. According to a study from earlier this year, over 200 urban areas across the world have seen increased periods of hot days in the last 40 years.

The UK’s Met Office also argued that heatwaves across Europe will become more frequent in the next few days.

Photo:  Soham Banerjee via flickr


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Further reading:

Study: greener cities reduce heatwave mortality

Heatwaves to become normal by 2040s, says the Met Office

Met Office: chance of heatwaves in Europe has ‘increased dramatically’

Urbanisation linked to heat-related deaths

More than 150 dead in one of India’s worst heatwaves


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