Hundreds dead in heatwave: India Heatwave

Published: May 25, 2015

Hundreds dead in heatwave: India Heatwave, More than 500 people are believed to have died in a heatwave in India as temperatures approach 50C (122F) in parts of the country.

Allahabad, a city in the north, saw the mercury touch 47.7 C (117.8F) on Sunday, according to local media. In Delhi, the capital, a high of 43.5C (110.3F) was recorded.

Most of the recorded deaths, primarily from heatstroke and extreme dehydration, have been in rural areas in the south, where roads and markets were deserted in many cities and towns. Local authorities announced a compensation payment of £1,000 to relatives of those killed.

The forecast is for a continuing “heatwave to severe heatwave” for the rest of the month. “It is hot. It will stay hot. People must stay inside and drink lots of water,” Devendra Sharma, an official at the Indian meteorological office said.

In the city of Kolkata, in the east, taxi drivers refused to work between 11am and 4pm after a driver died in his cab.

Across the country, there were power cuts as India’s inadequate electricity networks sought to fulfil record demand. Shopping malls, which are air-conditioned and often have their own generators to keep customers cool during frequent outages, recorded a surge in visitors.

“We see more and more people walk in, spend some time here and walk out without buying anything. But we understand. It’s terribly hot outside,” Nasir, a security guard at a mall in the city of Patna, told the Times of India newspaper.

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