(MENAFN - Gulf Times) At least 76 people have died as a blistering heatwave swept through India's eastern state of Bihar on the weekend, officials said Monday.
Officials at the state disaster management control room said 33 people had died in Aurangabad, 31 in Gaya and 12 in Nawada districts on Saturday and Sunday.
‘Most of the victims were farmers and labourers who were outdoors. The heat has been especially severe this time, with the mercury breaching 46 degrees Celsius in certain areas in the past few days,' an official said.
‘It is the first time in the state that so many deaths have been reported due to heatwave in just two days,' he said, requesting anonymity.
State health officials have appealed to people to avoid going outdoors in the afternoon and drink lots of fluids to prevent heatstrokes. Schools in the affected areas were also ordered closed until June 19 due to heat conditions, local media reported.
India has been experiencing a prolonged heatwave over the past three weeks that has left large parts of the country reeling at temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 degrees Celsius.
The heatwave has killed 36 people in other parts of the country during the summer season so far, while local media put the death toll at more than 100.
The heatwave conditions were likely to persist in the region over the next five days, the Indian Meterological Department said.