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Indians crowd into rivers, tree shade and AC rooms as heat wave death toll passes 1,400

  • A villager herds his buffaloes as they enter the Daya River on a hot afternoon in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. In southern India, hundreds of people have died since the middle of April as soaring summer temperatures scorch the country, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

    A villager herds his buffaloes as they enter the Daya River on a hot afternoon in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. In southern India, hundreds of people have died since the middle of April as soaring summer temperatures scorch the country, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Indian homeless man sleeps on a pavement in a market area on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. In southern India, hundreds of people have died since the middle of April as soaring summer temperatures scorch the country, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

    An Indian homeless man sleeps on a pavement in a market area on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. In southern India, hundreds of people have died since the middle of April as soaring summer temperatures scorch the country, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)  (The Associated Press)

Eating onions, lying in the shade and crowding into rivers, Indians are doing whatever they can to stay cool amid a brutal heat wave that has killed more than 1,400 in the past month.

Officials say most of the 1,412 deaths have occurred in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where temperatures have soared to 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit).

Officials are warning people to stay out of the sun, cover their heads and drink water. Doctors were on alert Thursday for heat-related illness, while volunteers were distributing salted buttermilk or raw onions — both thought to be hydrating.

Meteorological officials say the heat will likely continue for several more days, warping roads, scorching crops and endangering construction workers, farmers and anyone else laboring outdoors.