India: 25,000 dead this hot summer Heat wave days more than double

An unusually intense heat wave that has swept India this summer is believed to have killed more than 100 people and sickened tens of thousands, while authorities and media reported that parts of the country were also recently hit by cyclones and torrential rains.

Hot temperatures that began in March reached 50 degrees Celsius in May in the capital Delhi and neighboring Rajasthan due to a number of factors, a trend scientists say has been exacerbated by man-made climate change.

At least 30 people have died of heatstroke in the eastern state of Odisha this summer, the state’s disaster management agency said today, adding that another 97 suspected heatstroke deaths were under investigation.

About 25,000 people appear to have heat stroke in India during the summer season, which runs from March to May, ThePrint news website reported, citing government figures, with incidents peaking in May.

Twice too many hot days

At the same time, north-western and eastern India recorded twice as many heatwave days as normal at the time, mainly because there were fewer non-monsoon storms and warm winds blowing into India from arid neighboring regions.

Deaths have also been reported in northern and western parts of India, where a heat wave last month during national elections was particularly severe, with taps running dry in Delhi and livestock scattered in fields.

In contrast, parts of eastern India were reeling from Cyclone Remal, with heavy rains lashing northeast Assam since Tuesday.

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