People in Orissa are now seeking divine intervention for respite from the unprecedented heat wave that continues to grip parts of the state. Fifty heat deaths have been reported until on Thursday in the state, officials said.
The monsoon normally arrives in the state by June 10. This year, however, save for some rains in the last week of May, the state has been witnessing a dry spell.
"The death toll due to the heat wave in the state has risen to 50," B. Singh, an officer in the state revenue control room told IANS.
Many places in the state recorded more than 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. The meteorological centre here said the heat wave condition is likely to prevail for the next 48 hours.
More than 200 residents in Cuttack city, about 26 km from orissa,on Wednesday performed a 'yagna' fire ritual to invoke the rain god with the hope of getting relief from the searing heat, Nirakar Das, an organizer of the ritual said.
Usually farmers organize such rituals, but for the first time people of the non-farming community have sought divine intervention in a city yearning for rain.