The weatherman has warned that the brutal heat wave scorching vast swathes of the country would continue for a few more days though cloudy skies and sporadic overnight showers has brought relief to the people in some states.
According to official sources, the death toll in the heat wave stood at over 1,400 people, most of them in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its morning forecast on Thursday that the “heat wave to severe heat wave conditions” would continue through the day in Odisha, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the states which have bore the brunt of the extreme weather conditions.
The IMD bulletin also forecast thunderstorms at “isolated places” in Punjab, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal besides coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Pudducherry, Rayalaseema and Karnataka.
The national capital region woke up to cloudy skies and lower temperature though the clouds dissipated as the day progressed.
The minimum temperature in the morning was recorded at 26 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average. The weatherman has also predicted partly clear sky for rest of the day in Delhi.
“Sky will be partly clear. Maximum temperature is expected to soar up to 43 degrees Celsius,” the official said.
On Wednesday, overcast skies in some parts of Telangana, including Hyderabad, brought down temperatures.
Rain and thunderstorms were also reported in Nellore district in the evening, prompting the state government to withdraw its heat wave warning.
Agency reports said that authorities in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which together accounted for 1,270 heat-related deaths, have cancelled doctors’ leave to help cope with the sick.
Officials said that most of the victims are either elderly or labourers suffering sunstroke or dehydration.
The weather conditions have also resulted in frequent power cuts.
Some patients complained that authorities were not doing enough to restore electricity.
“The heat is so horrible that I am just not moving out during the day and replenishing myself with cool water and other fluids from time to time,” said Prakash Rao, a retired employee in Krishna district.
In Odisha’s Titlagarh, the mercury had soared past 47° C in for the second consecutive day on Wednesday but the state saw only two districts report temperatures over 45 degrees, a drop from an average of seven over the past week.
Villagers, however, were forced to trudge long miles in the sun as tube wells and water bodies dried up while long power outages interrupted piped water supply.