Death toll rises in India as heatwave set to continue

Soaring temperatures have gripped parts of southern and northern India in an extreme heatwave which has killed more than 500 people and looks set to continue this week, officials said.

The hottest place in India was Allahabad, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which saw mercury rise to 47.7C on Sunday, while the capital Delhi recorded a high of 43.5C.

Most of the 539 recorded deaths have been of construction workers, the elderly or the homeless in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, said officials, but some deaths have also occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

The Indian Meteorological Department has issued a red warning to affected regions saying that the heatwave conditions are likely to continue over coming days.

Director of Andhra Pradesh’s disaster management department K Dhananjaya Reddy said 325 people had died of sunstroke or dehydration in the state in the past three days.

“We are advising people not to go to work between 10 am to 4pm,” said Reddy. “We have also opened centres in different places specially in urban areas for the distribution of water and butter milk.”

The government has cancelled the leave of all doctors as hospitals were being flooded with cases of heat-stroke, he said

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