HYDERABAD, India – About 230 people have died since mid-April in a heat wave sweeping two southeast Indian states, officials said Saturday.
More than 100 people have died from the brutal heat in Andhra Pradesh state in the last week, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, the state's top elected official, told reporters.
In neighboring Telangana state, around 130 heat-related deaths have been reported since April 15, said Bhambal Ram Meena, a top state official.
Day temperatures in Telangana's Khammam district soared to more than 48 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) on Saturday. Meena said 16 people had died in the district as a result of the heat in the past three days.
Health authorities have asked people not to go outside at midday to avoid getting sunstroke due to high temperatures and blistering winds.
"We are urging people to take all the necessary precautions and drink lots of water," Naidu said.
Roads and markets were deserted in all of the major cities and towns in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, with people staying indoors to avoid the heat.
Weather authorities said the high temperatures would likely continue for at least another week. They said the situation should improve with the approaching monsoon rains, which usually reach the southeastern coast in the first week of June.