Large parts of India is in the grip of a severe heat wave , the Indian meterological department said on Saturday, urging people in the affected areas to take precautions when heading outdoors.
Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions would prevail at many in Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Telangana, a weather bulletin issued by the IMD on Saturday said. The weather department declared a heat wave condition in Delhi.
Saturday's weather bulletin said the heat wave is likely to continue for the foreseeable five days, with only dust storms and isolated squalls being of some hope in places such as Western Uttar Pradesh.
Meerut saw a high of 42.1°C on Saturday, approximately 3°C above normal.
Officials said about 230 people have died since mid-April in a heat wave sweeping two southeast Indian states.
The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, Chandrababu Naidu, said more than 100 people have died in the last week in his state. An official in neighboring Telangana state said around 130 deaths have been reported there since April 15.
The mercury has been hovering in the mid-forties in Punjab and Haryana, with places like Rohtak recording nearly 45°C.
In Madhya Pradesh, temperatures were up by an average 2°C across most parts of the state. Bhopal recorded a high of 42.8°C (+3) while Indore was at a more typical 40.1°C on Saturday.
A heat wave, characterised by blazing sunlight and hot blowing winds, leads to conditions such as heat stroke and dehydration that can potentially turn fatal with long exposure.
Fatalities from such conditions are usually that of homeless or those who are compelled to stay outdoors.
This year's summer is expected to be particularly difficult for states that see high temperatures, with experts expecting a weaker monsoon due to the El Nino phenomenon.
An El Nino, a weather anomaly that leads to warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, often has a far-reaching impact not only in terms of public health but also has impact of the country's agricultural output.