Nearly 170 dead amid heatwave in N India

21 June 2023
2023-06-21 15:39

A scorching heatwave in two of India's most populous states has overwhelmed hospitals, filled a morgue to capacity and disrupted power supply, forcing staff to use books to cool patients, as officials investigate the number of deaths that has reached nearly 170.

In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, 119 people have died from heat-related illnesses over the last several days while neighboring Bihar state reported 47 fatalities, according to local news reports and health officials.

The largest hospital in Ballia district in Uttar Pradesh is unable to accommodate more patients. Officials said the morgue was full after 54 people, all of whom were elderly suffering from various health issues, died during the heatwave.

Some families were asked to take the bodies of their relative’s home.While northern regions of India are known for sweltering heat during the summer months, temperatures have been consistently above normal, according to the Indian Meteorological Department, with highs reaching 43.5 degrees Celsius.

The government was taking measures to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. Climate experts say that heatwaves will continue and India needs to prepare better to deal with their consequences.

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