An early-season heat wave is sweeping across India and the unbearable hot weather has already claimed lives of 66 people.
Deadly heatwave in May 2015 claimed almost 2 500 lives across the country, most of them in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, but 2016 begun smashing records as early as January and climate experts warn things will get much worse.
The unusual heat wave has been sweeping across southernmost India since February when maximum or day temperature in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala was settling 5 - 6 °C (41 - 42.8 °F) above normal. Moreover, these states are already staring at a water crisis, Skymet Weather reports.
By April, heat wave has shifted to the parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh recorded 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) on Tuesday, April 5, which was six degrees above normal, followed by Jamshedpur in Jharkhand at 43 °C (109.4 °F), five degrees above normal.
With heatwave conditions prevailing across Telangana, 66 people have died due to sunstroke and other related problems, officials said today.
According to the Meteorological Department Nizamabad, north Telangana continues to be the hottest area in the state with maximum temperatures of 43.4 °C (110.1 °F) followed by Medak and Karimnagar with 43 °C (109.4 °F).
Telangana normally witnesses heatwave condition only in the month of May. The state administration has advised the people to avoid going out into the open from 12 noon.
Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar was the hottest place in the state with 43.2 °C (109.7 °F) today, the highest this season and the highest in April in the last six years. Last month, mercury in Bhubaneswar touched 42.2 °C (107.9 °F), breaking the 64-year-old record for the month.
Apart from Bhubaneswar, temperature in Odisha went up to 40 degrees and above in 15 places: Balasore (41 °C / 105.8 °F), Chandbali (41.3 °C / 106.3 °F), Cuttack (40.6 °C / 105.08 °F), Angul (40.7 °C / 105.2 °F), Baripada (40.8 °C / 105.4 °F), Jharsuguda (41 °C / 105.8 °F), Sambalpur (40.8 °C / 105.4 °F), Sundergarh (42 °C / 107.6 °F), Talcher (41.6 °C / 106.8 °F), Bhawanipatna (40.5 °C / 104.9 °F), Balangir (41 °C / 105.8 °F), Titlagarh (40.5 °C / 104.9 °F), Malkangiri (42 °C / 107.6 °F), Sonepur (41.2 °C / 106.1 °F) and Dhenkanal (40.6 °C / 105.08 °F).
Featured image: Weather situation over India on April 6, 2016. Background image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS. Annotation: The Watchers