HYDERABAD, India -- Soaring summer temperatures in India have left over 1,100 people dead over the past month, officials said Wednesday.
Most of the deaths have been reported in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
More than 852 people have died from the stifling heat in Andhra Pradesh since May 13, a government statement said. In neighboring Telengana 266 have died from heat-related causes, Bhambal Ram Meena, a top official in the disaster management department, said.
Over the last two days temperatures in both states have reduced marginally but continue to hover near 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
Public announcements have urged people to drink water and try and avoid going outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.
The Indian Express newspaper said the temperatures in the current heat wave were 5 to 6 degrees Celsius above normal, and forecasting service AccuWeather said it was the most intense heat wave in recent years.
Hot, dry winds have also swept across New Delhi and most parts of north and central India. In the cities, large crowds of office workers gather around stalls selling cold fruit drinks and iced water.
Weather officials say the sweltering temperatures are likely to continue for at least another week. Monsoon rains, expected to arrive in the southern state of Kerala in the first week of June, should bring some respite. The monsoon season runs through September as the rains gradually cover the entire country.