India’s heatwave turns deadly

Over 180 people killed in eastern state of Bihar, which is witnessing the second-longest heatwave on record.

India heat wave
A vendor shields herself during a hot afternoon in India's capital New Delhi [EPA]

A heatwave in the eastern Indian state of Bihar has killed 184 people this season, 78 since Saturday, according to figures released by the country’s disaster management authorities.

The country’s second-longest heatwave on record prompted authorities in the state’s Gaya district to impose curfew-like restrictions during the extreme heat of the day.

The district magistrate also banned all construction work and outdoor activities between 11am and 4pm.

Daytime temperatures across many parts of India have hovered above 40 Celsius for the past 32 days, just short of the record 33 days experienced in 1988.

Saturday’s temperatures were some of the highest Gaya had seen in this season, reaching to 45.2 Celsius, about seven degrees above average.  

Hundreds of people have been taken to hospitals and treated for heatstroke, which is usually caused by prolonged exposure to sun or from physical exertion in high temperatures.

Severe heatwave conditions will continue on Tuesday across Bihar with some slight improvement expected on Wednesday.

The southwest monsoon, which would normally be across Bihar, is running about 11 days late this year. It may not be till the end of next week that the hard-hit state begins to see any relief from the deadly heat.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies