Asia

India's sizzling heat wave claims more than 300 lives

  • An Indian village man sprinkles water from a broken pipe onto his face in a village in Samba district, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Jammu, India, Friday, April 29, 2016. Much of India is reeling under a weekslong heat wave and severe drought conditions that have decimated crops, killed livestock and left at least 330 million Indians without enough water for their daily needs. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

    An Indian village man sprinkles water from a broken pipe onto his face in a village in Samba district, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Jammu, India, Friday, April 29, 2016. Much of India is reeling under a weekslong heat wave and severe drought conditions that have decimated crops, killed livestock and left at least 330 million Indians without enough water for their daily needs. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indian women cover themselves with a cloth to protect from direct Sun in Mumbai, India, Friday, April 29, 2016. With sizzling temperatures claiming more than 300 lives this month in India, officials said Friday they were banning daytime cooking in some parts of the drought-stricken country in a bid to prevent accidental fires that have killed nearly 80 more people. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade )

    Indian women cover themselves with a cloth to protect from direct Sun in Mumbai, India, Friday, April 29, 2016. With sizzling temperatures claiming more than 300 lives this month in India, officials said Friday they were banning daytime cooking in some parts of the drought-stricken country in a bid to prevent accidental fires that have killed nearly 80 more people. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade )  (The Associated Press)

  • An Indian girl carries drinking water in a plastic container on her head as she walk back to her village after collecting it from an almost dried up well in Samba district, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Jammu, India, Friday, April 29, 2016. Much of India is reeling under a weekslong heat wave and severe drought conditions that have decimated crops, killed livestock and left at least 330 million Indians without enough water for their daily needs. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

    An Indian girl carries drinking water in a plastic container on her head as she walk back to her village after collecting it from an almost dried up well in Samba district, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Jammu, India, Friday, April 29, 2016. Much of India is reeling under a weekslong heat wave and severe drought conditions that have decimated crops, killed livestock and left at least 330 million Indians without enough water for their daily needs. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)  (The Associated Press)

A sizzling heat wave has claimed more than 300 lives in India, and officials have forbidden daytime cooking in some areas to prevent fires that have killed nearly 80 others.

The eastern state of Bihar banned cooking between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. after accidental fires exacerbated by dry, hot and windy weather swept through shantytowns and thatched-roof houses in villages and killed 79 people.

People are also barred from burning spent crops or holding fire rituals as part of Hindu religious practice. Disaster management official Vyas, who goes by one name, said Friday that anyone who violates the orders could face up to a year in jail.

At least 300 people have died of heat-related illness this month, as more than 330 million are also struggling with severe drought.