More than 300 die in blistering heatwave in India

Boys jumping into the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad yesterday to cool off. Temperatures in the city yesterday reached 43 deg C, according to the India Meteorological Department website. -- PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Boys jumping into the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad yesterday to cool off. Temperatures in the city yesterday reached 43 deg C, according to the India Meteorological Department website. -- PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NEW DELHI - More than 300 people have died as an intense heatwave sweeps through several cities across India, with even hill stations like Mussoorie, which is 2,000m above sea level, sweltering at 36 deg C.

The heat was even more brutal in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where 135 people died last Saturday, The Times of India reported.

As of yesterday, heat-related deaths had reached 335. The figure includes 75 people in Andhra and 60 in Telangana, where temperatures were 5 deg C to 7 deg C above normal, according to the Times.

Telangana's Khammam, in southern India, last Saturday recorded its highest temperature in history, 48 deg C, beating its last record of 47.2 deg C set in 1947.

New Delhi also experienced its hottest day this season at 44.5 deg C.

The heatwave took residents and tourists at northern India's hill resort of Mussoorie, where the maximum temperature does not usually exceed 30 deg C at this time of the year, by surprise.

"It's unbelievable. Mussoorie feels no different from Delhi," Delhi tourist Smita Kapoor was quoted as saying by the Times.

According to the India Meteorological Department, the blistering heat will continue to rage in the coming days across India in Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand.