Heat wave claims over 750 lives in AP, Telangana

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A torrid heat wave has gripped large parts of India with southern provinces, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana recording over 750 deaths till Tuesday as the weather office predicted temperatures will continue to soar this week.

Hospitals were on alert, a red box warning, to treat victims of heatstroke and authorities advised people to stay indoors with no end in sight to the searing conditions.

A “red box” warning usually means high chances of heatstroke, dehydration and fatality with temperatures inching upwards of 45°C, worsened by a constant dry, sweltering wind.

In the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh, in the south, 551 people have died in the last week as temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius on Monday. In Telangana state, which borders Andhra Pradesh in the south, 231 people have died in the last week as temperatures hit 48 degrees Celsius over the weekend.

In the western state of Orissa 11 people were confirmed to have died from the heat. Another 13 people have died in the eastern state of West Bengal, where unions urged drivers in the city of Kolkata to stay off the roads during the day.

The state government has started a campaign programs through television and other media. The state has also requested NGOs and government organizations to open up drinking water camps so that water will be readily available for all the people in the towns.

Tuesday morning offered little respite to Delhi from the blistering heat with the met office predicting a maximum temperature of around 45.5°C.

Indian papers today (Tuesday) carried front-page photos of main roads in the city melting in the heat, its zebra pedestrian crossing stripes curling and spreading into the asphalt.

Authorities advised people to stay indoors and consume plenty of fluids and experts warned no let-up in the heat wave would lead to large-scale power outages in several parts of north India, bringing back memories of a horrific blackout in 2012 that affected nearly 600 million people.

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