Indian heatwave death toll rises to more than 1,100

Soaring summer temperatures in India have left more than 1,100 people dead over the past month, officials said.

Most of the deaths have been reported in the south-eastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.

More than 852 people have died from the stifling heat in Andhra Pradesh since May 13, a government statement said.

In neighbouring Telengana, 266 have died from heat-related causes, according to Bhambal Ram Meena, a top official in the disaster management department.

Over the last two days, temperatures in both states have reduced marginally, but continue to hover near 45C (113F).

Public announcements have urged people to drink water and try to avoid going outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.

Hot, dry winds have also swept across New Delhi and most parts of north and central India.

In cities, large crowds of office workers gather around stalls selling cold fruit drinks and iced water.

Weather officials say the sweltering temperatures are likely to continue for at least another week.

Monsoon rains, expected to arrive in the southern state of Kerala in the first week of June, should bring respite.

The monsoon season runs until the end of September, as the rains gradually cover the entire country.

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