One of India’s longest and most intense heat waves in decades, with temperatures reaching 123 degrees, has claimed at least 36 lives since it began in May, and the government has warned that the suffering might continue as the arrival of monsoon rains has been delayed.
Intense heat has scorched the country for more than 30 consecutive days, primarily in northern and central India. Temperatures reached 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in New Delhi on June 10 — the highest ever recorded in the capital in June.
India has increasingly suffered from extreme heat in recent years. 2018 was the country’s sixth hottest year on record, and 11 of its 15 warmest years have occurred since 2004.The capital of New Delhi broke its all-time record Monday with a high of 48 degrees Celsius, according to The Times of India.
A delayed monsoon has contributed to the prolonged hot weather, arriving in southern India around June 8, seven days later than usual. Northern India is still waiting for its annual rains.
As a result, the country has seen a dramatic drop in deaths from heat waves in recent years. In 2015, more than 2,400 people died in heat wave. The following year, a heat wave killed just 250 people as per reports.