The relentless heat wave sweeping through Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has claimed over 1,100 lives. Around 20 people have died elsewhere in the country, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
Andhra Pradesh, which has been bearing the brunt of the heat wave over the last 10 days, has witnessed the maximum deaths -- 852. The number of deaths in Telangana is 269.
Some parts of the two states may get a brief respite tomorrow, with the meteorological office predicting rain and thundershowers. But the monsoon is still far away -- the first showers expected to drench the Kerala coast by the end of this month.
"In Andhra Pradesh, severe heat wave is expected till tomorrow. After that, there would be a reduction in temperature because of change in wind direction from north-west to west," said an official from the met office in Hyderabad.
Delhi recorded 45 degrees Celsius -- 0.5 degrees less than yesterday, which was the hottest day so far this season.
Sweltering conditions also prevailed in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal -- with temperature hovering around 45 degrees Celsius in most places.
Seven deaths were reported from Gujarat, all in Ahmedabad, according to PTI.
The scorching weather claimed 104 lives in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh alone, Special Commissioner for Disaster Management Tulsi Rani told PTI.
"The state government has taken up education programmes through television and other media asking people not to venture outside without a cap, to drink water and take other measures," she said. "We have also requested NGOs and government organisations to open up drinking water camps so that water will be readily available for all the people in the towns."
In Telangana, Nalgonda district recorded the highest number of deaths -- 73. Khammam witnessed 60 deaths, Mahabubnagar 32, Medak 26, Karimnagar and Adilabad district 22 each.