More than 100 people have died of sunstroke in Telangana and Andhra, a majority of them in the last week, as the state swelters under a heat wave, officials said.
While 66 people died in Telangana, the harsh summer claimed 45 lives in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
According to the state’s disaster management department, Mahabubnagar district faced the worst with 28 deaths. Eleven people died in Medak district which recorded its highest temperature of 42° Celsius.
Temperatures have risen unusually in the first week of April with several parts of the country recording deviations of more than +5°C. Significant relief from hot weather conditions is highly unlikely in the coming days, weather forecaster Skymet said.
Weather officials attribute the early onset of heat to after-effects of the weather phenomenon El Nino that caused poor monsoon last year. About 2,000 people died in 2015 in both states during a heat wave with the majority of deaths reported from Andhra.
While Hyderabad and its neighbouring Ranga Reddy district didn’t report any deaths, seven died in Nizamabad, five each died in Khammam and Karimnagar, and four each in Adilabad and Warangal. Two deaths were reported in Nalgonda, which was the hottest place in the state on Wednesday at 43° Celsius. The maximum temperature in Hyderabad and most of the other places was 41° Celsius.
Heat wave conditions also prevailed in Andhra but no deaths were reported. The highest maximum temperature of 42° Celsius was recorded at Anantapur and Nandyal. According to the met department, the temperature was above normal at many places over Rayalaseema and appreciably above normal at one or two places over coastal Andhra.
State officials in the disaster management department said severe heat wave conditions will prevail in 28 mandals while 87 others will face less severe conditions. Based on the met department’s forecast of a harsh and warmer summer this year, both states will have to endure the scorching conditions for the next two months.
Andhra government departments and local bodies have arranged for drinking water booths in public places while district collectors are publicising precautionary measures (do’s and don’ts) to stay healthy.
Medical and health personnel have also been attending to heat illness cases promptly.