Indian heat wave kills more than 500

At least 500 Indians die due to heat wave affecting mostly disadvantaged groups

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Almost 500 people have died in India, mostly in the southern states of the country, due to sunstroke during a days-long heatwave, officials said on Monday.   

The highest temperature in the heat wave was recorded as being 50 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in Telangana state, where figures are being collected by Indian officials and the death toll is highly likely to rise.

Around 188 people have died in Telangana, most of the figures recorded in the middle of last week according to D. Vani, an official with the state's disaster management department.

Authorities warned the residents not to work long hours during day time after 246 people died due to the high temperatures a week before.    

"The majority of the victims are people who have been exposed to the sun directly, usually aged 50 and above and from the working classes," P. Tulsi Rani, special commissioner of Andhra Pradesh's disaster management department, told AFP.

Rani said the deaths began Monday last week and increased incrementally to the end of the week .

"We are asking them to take precautions like using an umbrella, using a cap, taking a huge quantity of liquids like water and buttermilk, and wearing cotton clothing," he said.

Deaths are not restricted to the south of India, with several deaths also being reported in the northwestern desert state of Rajasthan according to the Press Trust of India.

Taxi unions warned drivers not to drive their cars between 11 am and 4 pm to avoid sun light in the eastern city of Kolkata.   

India’s weather bureau said the temperature is expected to rise in coming days.

TRTWorld and agencies