India wilts under heatwave as temperature hits 50 degrees Celsius
India is wilting under a heatwave, with the temperature in places reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) and the capital enduring …
The hot spell is projected to scorch northern India for several more days, the Meteorological Department said late Tuesday (May 26), “with severe heat wave conditions in isolated pockets”.
Met officials said Churu in the northern state of Rajasthan was the hottest place on record on Tuesday, at 50 Celsius, while parts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh sweltered in the high 40s.
Monkeys took to public ponds to escape the heat in Allahabad as India wilted under record high temperatures in some places AFP/SANJAY KANOJIA
Parts of the capital, New Delhi, recorded the hottest May day in 18 years with the mercury hitting 47.6 Celsius.
No deaths have been reported so far this year, but last year the government said the heat had killed 3,500 people since 2015. There have been fewer fatalities in recent years.
The country of 1.3 billion people suffers from severe water shortages with tens of millions lacking running water.
Parts of Delhi and elsewhere regularly see scuffles when tankers arrive to deliver water. Last year Chennai made international headlines when the southern city ran out of water entirely.
The heatwave adds to problems the country already has dealing with the spread of coronavirus.
The shade of a giant tree provided an escape from the heat for some Delhi residents AFP/Money SHARMA
India now has the 10th highest number of coronavirus cases globally, climbing above 150,000 on Wednesday with almost 4,500 deaths.
Last week cyclone Amphan killed more than 100 people as it ravaged in eastern India and Bangladesh, flattening villages, destroying farms and leaving millions without power.
Huge swarms of desert locusts, meanwhile, have destroyed nearly 50,000 hectares of crops across western and central India, and may enter Delhi in coming days.
The north-eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya are also currently experiencing floods, with more heavy rainfall forecast in the coming days.