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Heatwave kills more than 50 people in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha

More than 50 people have died in India in the past three days as a devastating heatwave continues to sweep parts of the country.

Around 33 people died in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh over the weekend due to heat.

In the state of Odisha (Orissa), approx 20 people died from suffered heat stroke, an official told news agency ANI.

Many of these deaths were reported on June 1 as India voted in the final phase of voting for the general election.

The election results are expected to be announced on June 4.

Every five years, India holds general elections in the summer months of April and May.

But this year, temperatures have broken records, leaving the country exposed to more frequent, more intense and longer-lasting heat waves.

The federal health department says it has at least 56 are confirmed deaths from heat stroke between March 1 and May 30. About 24,849 cases of heatstroke were reported during this period.

However, state data suggest the actual number may be much higher.

In Uttar Pradesh, several volunteer police officers, election officials, security guards and sanitation workers were among those killed over the weekend.

Navdeep Rinwa, the state’s chief electoral officer, told reporters that the families of the deceased election workers would be compensated with 1.5 million rupees ($18,000; £14,000).

Mr. Rinwa also said a man standing in line to vote fainted from the heat.

“The voter was transported to a medical facility, where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” he said.

In Odisha, the district administration reported 99 deaths are suspected to be due to heat stroke in the last 72 hours – of these 20 cases have been confirmed, the state Excise Commissioner said in a statement.

Suspected heat-related deaths have also been reported in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

India’s National Center for Disease Control calls heatstroke a “life-threatening” condition mortality rate 40-64%.

The heat in northern, central India and some parts of western India has been steadily decreasing over the past two weeks, with maximum temperatures hovering around 45-46C on many days and even going up to 50C in some area.

However, the Indian weather department said temperatures are likely to drop in the coming days due to the onset of monsoon.

Some areas are experiencing serious electricity and water shortages due to increased electricity consumption.

Video from the capital Delhi shows people jostling to get water from water trucks. Many places in the capital also frequently experience power cuts.


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