With no end to the heat wave in India in sight, the hot weather continues to take its toll on residents, as searing heat has not released its grip on the country, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.

Temperatures in many parts of the country are well above average, with some places reporting more than 5 degrees Celsius higher than expected this time of year, the report said.

The heat is now being blamed for the death of more than 100 people and fears are rising this could turn into a major catastrophe.

The annual monsoon season, usually guaranteed to begin in June, are believed the only way to stop the high temperatures. But if the high temperatures continue like this until then, the report says, it could turn into a major humanitarian crisis.

Last year, 2,500 people died as a result of the heat wave, which began in the country in May. It was India’s second deadliest heat wave and temperatures remained nearly 10 degrees Celsius above average for nearly two weeks before the monsoon rains brought much-needed relief.

This year, there are concerns the blistering heat could remain for far longer.

The situation becomes particularly hazardous if the temperatures do not drop during at night, because this would normally be when the body would recover from the heat.

The situation in India is further exacerbated because many people do not have access to air-conditioning and electric fans can only provide relief if temperatures are below 35C.

In addition, after two years of below-average monsoon rains, some parts of the country are facing a crippling drought. This puts some residents at risk of severe heat stress as they lug heavy containers of water from the nearest well.

WN.com, Jack Durschlag

Source: Stifling Indian Heat Wave Causing Hazardous Conditions – WorldNews