India reels under prolonged heatwave

2015-05-30 14:23
(Sanjay Kanojia, AFP)

(Sanjay Kanojia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hyderabad - India's brutal weeks-long heatwave has killed more than 2 000 people, authorities say as the government launched a mass education campaign to help people cope with scorching temperatures.

Hundreds of mainly poor people die at the height of summer every year in India, but this year's toll is the second highest in India's history and fifth most in recorded history globally, according to EM-DAT, an international disaster database.

Highest figure

The southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which have so far borne the brunt of the heatwave, accounted for 1 979 deaths. A further 17 people were killed in Orissa, eastern India, while nine people were reported dead elsewhere in the country, taking the death toll to 2 005.

A total of 2 541 people died in 1998 due to extreme temperatures, the highest figure in India's history, according to EM-DAT.

"There is no alarming situation at present. The heat has come down, and we're seeing fewer new patients come in with heat stroke," said JV Subbarao, a top official at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences.

On Saturday, maximum temperatures across India hovered around 45°C, with forecasters in New Delhi warning that searing temperatures would continue next week across several states.

Maximum temperature

Hundreds of people, mainly from the poorest sections of society, die at the height of summer every year across India, while tens of thousands suffer power cuts from an overburdened electricity grid.

India declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature hits 45°C, or five degrees higher than the average for the area in previous years.

The annual monsoon is forecast to hit the southern state of Kerala this week before sweeping across the country, but it will be weeks before the cooling rains reach India's arid plains.

Read more on:    india  |  natural disasters

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.