Hyderabad: The rising mercury is continuing to claim more lives and the worst hit is Andhra Pradesh, where 524 deaths have been reported in the past two months. All hope of relief now lies on the monsoon, which is likely to reach South India by June 3.
All 524 people have died due to sunstroke in just the past two months alone. With people wilting under temperatures between 47 and 49 degrees in Andhra Pradesh, a record number of casualties have been reported this year. Officials say by the end of May, more than 700 people would have died.
"As far as possible, people should be indoors especially in peak hours, between 10 am to 3 pm. Extensive exposure to direct sunlight will produce a lot of deaths due to the heat wave," said Bhanu Prasad, Assistant Director, Met Department.
This year around, the heat wave that has scorched Andhra Pradesh has been prolonged. Since Saturday alone, more than 250 people have died. According to the official data, coastal districts have been hit particularly hard. Guntur has witnessed 95 deaths, followed by Prakasam (75) and east Godavari (60). Karimnagar, Nalgonda and Khamma are the other majorly affected districts.
Rahul Reddy was a student in Karimnagar. He died due to sunstroke inside a bus while returning from an examination. Cases like this have scared residents into taking precautions.
With the sun beating down on citizens and the death toll only rising, concerns are being raised on the medical facilities that are being provided at the rural level. And with the Met department officials predicting the heat wave may continue for another 48 hours, the writing on the wall seems to be to steer clear of the sun's path.