Delhi, India – A relentless heatwave continues to grip large parts of the country, mostly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The extensive heat has already claimed nearly 800 lives. In Delhi on Tuesday, temperatures hit nearly 46 °C.
Deputy chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chinna Rajappa, said on Monday, 551 people died in the state from heat-related issues. Another 215 were confirmed dead in Telangana.
In Delhi, the painted lines on zebra crossings – large, wide pedestrian crossings – morphed into one as the pavement literally melted into itself from a recorded temperature of 45.5°C.
Due to the overbearing heat, very few people were seen on the streets. Even during evening hours, temperatures still hovered around the 30-degree mark.
Meteorologists are warning that most parts of India will remain in high temperatures for the rest of the week and have even issued a “red box” warning for Odisha, Jharkhand and coastal Andra Pradesh.
A “red box” warning means temperatures are fatality high enough to increase chances of dehydration and heatstroke, as the heat continues to inch upward.
Officials say the coastline is not expecting any relief until the monsoon, which arrives on May 31.
In Telangana, a maximum temperature of 44.8°C was recorded in Ramagundam city on Monday. Jangameswarapuram in Andhra Pradesh were higher at 46.8°C.
The heatwave was triggered mostly by an abrupt end to pre-monsoon showers. A brewing cyclonic weather pattern in the Arabian sea two weeks ago lost its vigor, while other depressions in the Bay of Bengal headed toward the northeast states where plenty of rain is being recorded.
Due to the strong, early summer temperatures, people are being advised to stay indoors and drink plenty of fluids.