India gets temporary relief from deadly heatwave

Rain and thunderstorms give some relief to Indians but temperatures in most of the country still above 45 degrees

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Some parts of India received temporary relief from the scorching weather in the country on Sunday, as scattered rain and thunderstorms hit Delhi as well as sections of the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Officials say death toll from the heatwave has reached 2,200 with the poorest people bearing the brunt. India’s weather bureau has warned that temperatures will be above 45 degrees Celsius in coming days.

Hospitals have been urged to give emergency treatment to heatstroke victims people but are struggling to cope with the number of patients. Every year hundreds of people die in India from heatwaves, but this year has seen the deadliest heatwave in two decades.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged everyone "to take care of yourselves in this heat," as India waits for the monsoon rains to arrive in a couple of days, AFP reported.

Water shortages have increased the suffering and experts say toxins in the air may also cause more health problems.

Indian officials advise people to stay in the shade, cover up and drink as much liquid as possible, but many people have continued working outside despite the dangerous conditions as they have to feed their families. The elderly are also among the most vulnerable.

"How do we cope up with the heat? We have to raise kids and so we have to work even though it's hot. Otherwise what will our children eat?" a bricklayer Sunder in Gurgaon told Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera also reported crops have been scorched because of the heat and wild animals are dying due to thirst.

TRTWorld and agencies