Over 400 Die in Heat Wave; 127 Reportedly Dead in Last 24 Hours

New Delhi:

Over 400 people have died in the heat wave across the country, which, according to the meteorological department, will be around for a few more days. The maximum deaths -- 368 -- took place in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

In Delhi -- which registered a record high of 44.5 degrees Celsius this season -- mercury has been hovering over 43 for the last few days.

The toll in Telangana so far is 188, said BR Meena, State Commissioner, Disaster Management. Around 40 people died today. In Andhra Pradesh, 87 deaths were reported since yesterday, taking the total to 182, reported news agency Press Trust of India.

In Hyderabad, the joint capital of the two states, two persons have died.

"Certain preventive measures have been taken," said C Laxman Reddy, health minister, Telangana. "The temperature had been very high for the last four to five days."

In Odisha, Bhubaneswar recorded a high of 42 degrees -- at least 26 persons died across the state. In Kolkata, 10 people died. The Bengal Taxi association decided to take taxis off the roads between 11 AM and 4 PM after three drivers died of heat stroke.

Meteorological office director BK Yadav said the heat wave in the two southern states will continue till at least Monday. But in Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, the heat wave will be on for a few more days.

"In Delhi particularly, no relief can be expected for the next four days. The heat wave will continue," Mr Yadav said.

Uttar Pradesh saw the mercury cross the 41 degree mark in most districts. Allahabad recorded the highest maximum in the state at 48 degrees. Business has been low during the day, said Hussain, a shoe shop owner, customers come when the sun sets.

Sayaji Baug zoo in Vadodara, western Gujarat, is helping animals beat the heat with special measures. Bird cages have been given special covers. Ice trays have been placed inside the enclosure for Himalayan bears and tigers are being splashed with water twice a day, a zookeeper said.