HYDERABAD, India – Weeks of sweltering temperatures have caused more than 160 deaths in southern and eastern India.
Officials say most of the heat-wave victims were labourers and farmers in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, though temperatures elsewhere in India have also hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).
Schools were closed last week in Orissa until at least April 26. Officials in Andhra Pradesh are distributing free water and buttermilk to help people stay hydrated. And everywhere, people are being urged to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day.
Police have reported 55 heat-related deaths in Orissa, at least 45 in Andhra Pradesh and 66 in Telangana. Indian broadcaster NDTV says a 12-year-old girl in Maharashtra state died from the heat while fetching water.