Heatwave deaths hit near 1500 in India

Death toll rises in India’s ongoing heatwave, hospitals struggle to reach all patients

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Indian hospitals said on Thursday that the death toll from an ongoing heatwave in the country has risen to nearly 1500, as they try to provide health services for all those suffering from the climate.  

The number of the heat-related deaths reached 1,020 in the worst hit region, Andhra Pradesh.

Temperatures of 48 degrees Celsius in Telangana state have been recorded. The death toll has increased to around 340 people in this region.

Forty-three deaths also have been reported in the eastern city of Orissa during this week, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

"Heatwave conditions in 2015 so far have been of a shorter duration, yet with a higher death toll," said Arjuna Srinidhi, programme manager for climate change at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

"This could be due to the sudden change in temperatures after a prolonged wet February and March that had kept the temperatures cool," he added.

Meteorologists expect that the temperature may lower next week.

"We think that these heatwave conditions will take another four to five days to subside," said Brahma Prakash Yadav, director of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Unusually high air conditioner usage has led to power cuts some part of Delhi, India’s second largest city.

"Last night there was no electricity for nearly five hours," Seema Sharma, who was waiting to see her 4-year-old son in the hospital, told AP.   

Heat-related deaths are an unresolved problem in India which affect the poorest in society in particular every year.


TRTWorld and agencies