India is known for becoming a sweltering furnace in May, but last month was exceptionally brutal, with temperatures hovering 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for nearly two weeks. By June 4th, the heat wave had claimed over 2,500 lives, making it the fifth deadliest in recorded history.
Roads melted in New Delhi as temperatures hit 113 degrees Fahrenheit and stayed there for days on end. Other parts of the country were nearly seven degrees hotter. Even in the mountain town of Mussoorie over 2,000 meters above sea level, residents felt the temperature climb to an unprecedented 97 degrees.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh witnessed 314 more deaths in the last 24 hours as the neighbouring states continue to reel under sweltering heat wave. According to official figures, the death toll in these two states has reached 1774 with Andhra Pradesh reporting 1334 deaths while 440 people have died in Telangana.
According to reports, Prakasam region is the worst hit accounting for maximum number of 305 deaths followed by Guntur-197, East Godavari-158, Visakhapatnam-157, Vizianagaram-128, Nellore-102, Krishna district-66, Srikakulam -57, Chittoor-56, Kadapa-34, Kurnool and Anantapur-28 each, West Godawari-18, Srikakulam – 57.
The MeT department has warned that the heat wave will continue for at least two more days. It said that heatwave conditions prevailed over many parts in the districts of Krishna, Guntur, Prakasham and Nellore of Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Officials said most of those killed are the elderly or labourers suffering from sunstroke or dehydration. Telangana saw the death of 100 people since Wednesday.
Severe heat wave conditions also prevailed in northern part of the country with states like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar experiencing unprecedented summer in years. Lower hills of Himachal Pradesh also reeled under scorching heat, with Una sizzling at 43.2 degree celsius.