NEW DELHI More than two dozen people have died
over the last 24 hours in a heatwave that has baked northern
India, officials and media reports said on Tuesday, taking the
death toll over the last one week to more than 100.
The scalding temperatures have also hit large parts of
neighboring Pakistan, killing at least 50 people by Monday.
Most of the dead were homeless people, the elderly and
those compelled to work outdoors, hit by sunstroke and
But the heatwave's peak had already passed, said S.C. Bhan,
director of the Regional Meteorological Centre in New Delhi.
The temperature in the Indian capital reached what was
described by newspapers as a "cool" 41.1 degrees Celsius (106
Fahrenheit) on Monday, nearly four degrees lower than
Saturday's season high.
"The heatwave will be over today," Bhan said. "Tomorrow
should be normal weather for June."
He predicted thunderstorms in the next few days could take
the edge off the heat, which had been blown across the region
by hot winds from the Thar desert.
More than 100 people have succumbed to the heat in north
and central India since the heatwave began at the end of last
week, newspapers said, including 62 in Uttar Pradesh state, 36
in the western desert state of Rajasthan and 19 in Punjab.
In New Delhi, police confirmed nine heat-related deaths.
(Additional reporting by a Reuters reporter in Jodhpur)